Experienced lock Charlie Ewels drops into England A squad ahead of Portugal game.

Five England players have dropped into the England A squad ahead of their game against Portugal on Sunday

Charlie Ewels, Max Ojomoh, Joe Heyes and Will Muir will face the Lobos at Welford Road the day after England’s Calcutta Cup clash with Scotland. 

Related: England A squad to face Portugal revealed with Kiwi-born prop included

Harry Randall, who was called into the senior team to replace the injured Alex Mitchell, will also join the England A squad. 

Randall had initially been picked as one of two scrum halves in the A squad until Mitchell suffered a knee injury which ruled him out of the Six Nations. 

The Bristol Bears player was called into the senior team to join Danny Care and Ben Spencer as scrum half but returned to England A for their game this weekend. 

Read more: England Six Nations squad

Ewels, who has played 30 times for England, is the most experienced player in the England A squad, with only six other capped players in the team. 

The other capped players include Randall, Nick Isiekwe and Tom Pearson and the latter two were included in Steve Borthwick’s initial senior squad. 

The capped players will bring a level of experience to an England A side full of youth. 

Exciting talents such as Alfie Barbeary, Oliver Sleightholme and Cadan Murley could all take to the field against Portugal. 

Both sides will benefit from playing each other, with players getting minutes under their belt at a high level although Portugal are set to be deprived of a host of their World Cup stars as they will not be released by their French clubs.

The visitors beat Fiji in a thrilling World Cup group game and will still be a dangerous prospect for the inexperienced England side. 

England A, formerly the England Saxons, has been rebooted this year with a view to providing players a stronger pathway link between age grade rugby and the senior team.

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