Owen Farrell will be England's sole captain against Ireland, with Dylan Hartley unavailable for the start of the Six Nations due to injury. Co-captain Dylan Hartley has been left out of England's training squad for their Six Nations opener against Ireland as the hooker battles a knee injury.
Owen Farrell will, therefore, skipper the team, while head coach Eddie Jones has included four uncapped players in a 35-man party - OIlie Thorley, Dan Robson, Jack Singleton and Ben Earl. England are boosted by the return of Billy Vunipola, Joe Launchbury, Mako Vunipola and Ellis Genge for the first time since last year's tour of South Africa, while Dan Cole, Jack Clifford and Ollie Devoto are also included after long absences.
Jones admitted that he does not know when captain Dylan Hartley will be fit to regain his place in the squad.
"Unfortunately, Dylan won’t be available for the Ireland game so we won't take him to Portugal [for a training camp] but we are hopeful he will be back later in the championship," explained Jones. "Owen will be captain by himself and he will certainly have great support from a number of senior players."
Hartley has a knee injury and misses the opening game with Ireland on February 2 and is likely to sit out the next game with France.
“We haven’t see Joe Launchbury since South Africa, he has come back and had a good couple of games for Wasps and looks in good shape,” said England’s head coach. “He is an important player for us, he has played over 50 Tests. Billy has had a dreadful run of injuries, he’s also played two good games for Saracens and we’re delighted to have him back in the squad.
“We also have guys like Ellis Genge and Mako Vunipola coming back in. Genge is a good young prop and he will challenge Mako for his starting place.”
"Ireland are the best side in the world," Jones added. "They are a very well coached and drilled side and have particular things they do well in the game. "To beat Ireland, we need to compete brutally in all the contest areas of the game.
"We are very happy with the squad and have a number of players who have come back from long-term injury. "We are looking forward to getting across to Portugal and having a good 10-day preparation for the Ireland game."
Players unavailable due to injury
Piers Francis (Northampton Saints)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)