England scrum-half Willi Heinz has been ruled out of Saturday’s Six Nations finale against Italy because of an unspecified leg injury.

Alex Mitchell has been called into Eddie Jones’ camp as a replacement and will compete with Dan Robson for the role of supporting Ben Youngs, who is expected to win his 100th cap in Rome.

England described Heinz’s issue as a “leg soft tissue injury”.

Head coach Jones names his team on Thursday morning.

Heinz has deputised for Youngs since winning the first of his 13 caps during the build up to last autumn’s World Cup.

He was an ever-present in Japan until the final when a hamstring injury sustained in the last four rout of New Zealand forced him to miss the Yokohama showpiece.

Ben Spencer was flown out as a late replacement and went straight on to the bench against South Africa, but has been overlooked since.

Jones’ decision to summon Micthell as Heinz’s replacement is another snub, but Mitchell is likely to lose out to Robson among the replacements.


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