Joseph joins England’s Six Nations squad as it heads to Portugal

England head coach Eddie Jones has added Bath centre Jonathan Joseph to his squad ahead of next week’s Guinness Six Nations opener against Ireland.

England's Jonathan Joseph, pictured celebrating with the Calcutta Cup at Twickenham in 2017 Ppicture: David Davies/PA Wire).

Joseph will be part of a 36-player group that departs for a training camp in Portugal today.

The 27-year-old returned to action for his club in Sunday’s Heineken Champions Cup game against Toulouse after nine months out because of a foot injury.

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Joseph’s lay-off meant he missed England’s tour to South Africa last summer and the autumn Tests in November.

Joseph, who has won 40 caps and scored 17 Test tries, last featured for England against Ireland in the Six Nations 10 months ago.

He played 50 minutes of the Toulouse match as Bath completed their Champions Cup campaign.

Head coach Jones’s Portugal-bound group also includes captain Owen Farrell, who underwent thumb surgery on Saturday, with his club Saracens anticipating that he will be sidelined for seven to ten days.

Wasps forwards Joe Launchbury (neck) and Brad Shields (side strain) will also travel.

Lock Launchbury went off after just nine minutes of Wasps’ Champions Cup game against Leinster three days ago, while flanker Shields did not start that match.

The training group includes four uncapped players in Gloucester wing Ollie Thorley, Wasps scrum-half Dan Robson, Worcester hooker Jack Singleton and Saracens back-row forward Ben Earl.

Jones will take a squad of 25 players to Dublin tomorrow week for the February 2 clash at the Aviva Stadium.

Ulster have banned a fan for life following a “robust investigation” into allegations of abuse directed at Racing 92 wing Simon Zebo, the club have announced.

The incident is alleged to have happened during the European Champions Cup fixture against Racing on January 12 at Ravenhill Stadium.

Ulster said in a statement: “Following a robust investigation into allegations of abuse directed at Simon Zebo during the fixture versus Racing 92 on Saturday 12th January, Ulster Rugby has sanctioned a lifetime ban on a spectator, for breaching our stadium regulations.

“We would like to thank the many supporters who provided information to assist our investigation. We are all very proud of our reputation as an inclusive club and the unacceptable behaviour of this one individual is not reflective of our supporters, or the values of our club.

“We have issued a written apology to Simon Zebo and Racing 92.”