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Six Nations 2019: England’s Jonathan Joseph set for Bath return

Jonathan Joseph was injured in a Premiership game against Saracens in April 2018

England centre Jonathan Joseph could return for Bath next weekend after nine months out injured, says the club’s director of rugby Todd Blackadder.

The 27-year-old’s comeback is a lift for England head coach Eddie Jones with the Six Nations starting on February 1.

He played in all five of England’s 2018 Six Nations games but missed the tour of South Africa after ankle surgery.

“If he can get through some ‘big load’ days in training next week, he could be good to go,” said Blackadder.

“He trained really well this week and is looking very sharp.”

Joseph has 40 caps for England and played three times on the British and Irish Lions’ 2017 tour of New Zealand.

Bath, who are eighth in the Premiership, play Toulouse in the final round of Champions Cup pool matches next Sunday, but are already out of the competition.

England play reigning champions Ireland on the opening weekend of the Six Nations and while that game may well be too soon for Joseph after such a long lay-off, his imminent return gives Jones a welcome option in midfield, where he has yet to settle on a favoured combination.

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