Sale Sharks star, George Ford, has been ruled out of England’s summer tour to Japan and New Zealand because of an Achilles injury.

Ford started at fly-half throughout this year’s Six Nations but having completed the club season with Sale, it has been decided he needs time to recover from the pre-existing condition.

“Naturally we’re disappointed that George won’t be with us in Japan and New Zealand,” head coach Steve Borthwick said.

“Following specialist medical advice, and in consultation with George himself, we have decided this is the best course of action.

“George is a big part of the England team and is an excellent professional who I know will rehab diligently to ensure he gets himself right as soon as he can.”

Ford, who missed seven months of the 2022/23 season with an Achilles injury, was part of England’s training camp last week but Borthwick must now plan to take on the Brave Blossoms and All Blacks without two of his World Cup fly-halves following Owen Farrell’s decision to join Racing 92.

It leaves Northampton’s Premiership-winning ringmaster Fin Smith and Marcus Smith, of Harlequins, in a shootout for the number-10 jersey, with rookie Charlie Atkinson most likely to tour as the third playmaker.

Meanwhile, former captain Will Addison is delighted to have re-signed for Sharks - almost six years after the versatile back left to join Ulster.

The 31-year-old, who can play centre, on the wing or full-back, has signed a one-year deal with an option for a further year.

Cumbrian Will came through the Sharks academy and played more than 100 games for the club in his first stint.

He told the club’s website: “It was really tough to leave Sale but I did it for the right reasons and I have loved my time in UIster. I played international rugby for Ireland and that was a huge dream of mine.

“But I’ve remained a big Sale supporter and I’ve loved watching the club going from strength to strength in the last couple of years. Before I left, Simon Orange told me the club was going places and he was right.

“To see the crowds in the stadium grow and how much emphasis the club have put on building a connection with the north has been fantastic.

“My best friends are still at Sale - Tommy Taylor was my best man and Josh Beaumont was an usher, and I came through the academy with guys like Ross Harrison, Si McIntyre and Sam James.

“I’ve also got a young baby and now is the right time for us as a family to move back.

“But I wouldn’t move if I didn’t feel like we had a chance of winning something.

“There are so many brilliant young players here and I can’t wait to play with them and try and help them develop as much as I can.”