LONDON (AP) — England will be without a key member of its backroom staff for the Six Nations rugby tournament after skills coach Jason Ryles opted against traveling from Australia with his family during the pandemic.

The English Rugby Football Union said Monday it hopes Ryles will be able to link up with the coaching team for England’s test matches in June and July.

Ryles replaced Steve Borthwick as one of Eddie Jones’ assistants last year after coaching Australian rugby league side Melbourne Storm from 2016. Jones had Ryles mainly working with the forwards.

England will begin its preparations for the Six Nations next week, the RFU said. The team’s opening game is at home to Scotland on Feb. 6.


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