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England retain 17 players at training base

England keep hold of 17 players to continue training at their Pennyhill Park base ahead of their crucial Six Nations clash with Ireland at the start of next month.

England have retained 17 players to continue training at their Pennyhill Park base this week.

The entire starting XV that beat Italy last Saturday have been kept on, while Manu Tuilagi and Joe Launchbury will also stay with the squad as they work their way back to fitness.

Injured trio Geoff Parling, Tom Wood and Courtney Lawes are among the players who have been released back to their clubs ahead of a busy weekend of Aviva Premiership action.

Meanwhile, Mike Brown will not be training with the squad this week as he follows concussion protocol.

"We will release some players back to their clubs this evening as it will be a good opportunity for them to play for their clubs on a big Aviva Premiership weekend and before we get together ahead of the Ireland training week," coach Stuart Lancaster told the Rugby Football Union's official website.

"Mike Brown is in in the early days of the graduated return to play protocol and will not be training this week. Geoff Parling, Tom Wood and Courtney Lawes will be released back to their clubs for further assessment and treatment with a view to them resuming training with us next week."

England continue their Six Nations campaign on March 1 when they face Ireland in Dublin. Both teams have won their opening two games of this year's competition.

Players retained: Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Retained for rehabilitation: Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)

Players released: Brad Barritt (Saracens), Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons), Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks), Calum Clark (Northampton Saints), Alex Corbisiero (Northampton Saints), Nick Easter (Harlequins), Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins), Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), Alex Goode (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Stephen Myler (Northampton Saints), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

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England's Head Coach Stuart Lancaster walks on the pitch before the international rugby union test match between England and New Zealand at Twickenham Stadium, southwest of London on November 8, 2014
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