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Steve Borthwick includes six uncapped players in England’s summer squad for Tests vs Japan and New Zealand | Rugby Union News


Steve Borthwick has named six uncapped players in his England squad for the summer tour of Japan and New Zealand, with the two Tests against the All Blacks live on Sky Sports. 

Harlequins prop Fin Baxter and centre Luke Northmore, Bristol hooker Gabriel Oghre, Sale full-back Joe Carpenter and wing Tom Roebuck, and Northampton wing Ollie Sleightholme have all made the final group.

In the forwards, players named in the original training squad who have not made the cut include Greg Fisilau (Exeter Chiefs), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Rusi Tuima (Exeter Chiefs) and Tom Willis (Saracens).

In the backs, the players to miss out are Charlie Atkinson (Gloucester Rugby), Max Malins (Bristol Bears), Raffi Quirke (Sale Sharks) and Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers).

England travel to face Japan on June 22 before a two-Test series against New Zealand on July 6 and July 13, live on Sky Sports.

England head coach Steve Borthwick believes his younger players will 'add a new dimension', having announced seven uncapped players for the summer tour to Japan and New Zealand.
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England head coach Steve Borthwick has named six uncapped players in his 36-player squad to take on Japan and New Zealand this summer

Saracens hooker Jamie George captains the group, with Maro Itoje and Tom Curry included despite the former being 80 minutes away from the total agreed allocated playing time per player for the season (35 matches or 2400 minutes), and the latter playing just once for Sale Sharks since the Rugby World Cup due to hip surgery.

George Ford, Ellis Genge, Ollie Chessum and Elliot Daly are all unavailable. Bath duo Alfie Barbeary and Ted Hill have not been selected, and nor has Northampton tighthead Trevor Davidson. Bath loosehead Beno Obano, who was red carded in Saturday’s Premiership final and thus faces a suspension, was also left out.

The RFU has confirmed England will train at Twickenham on Tuesday June 11, before flying to Tokyo the following day to continue preparations.

“The Summer Series presents a valuable opportunity for the continued development of this squad and is a demanding challenge to conclude the season,” Borthwick said.

England captain Jamie George believes England are on an upward trajectory
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Saracens hooker Jamie George will once again captain the England group

“For some of the younger players, it will be their first time touring abroad with England. Travelling together is a great way to build closer bonds and provides an important opportunity for new players to settle into our environment.

“With the changes in climate, playing conditions, and contrasting styles of rugby from the two opponents we face, we will be challenged on and off the field.

“The National Stadium in Tokyo is an incredible venue for Test match rugby, and we will need to be at our very best against a Japanese team who will want to play fast.

“New Zealand’s home record is well documented, and we face a team who came within one point of winning a World Cup.

“Historically it is not a place England have had much success, but we are determined to change that. The players know that they will need to be mentally strong and tactically smart if we are to get the result we want.”

36-player squad named for England’s summer Tests

Forwards (20):

Fin Baxter (Harlequins), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Alex Coles (Northampton Saints), Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Theo Dan (Saracens), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Ben Earl (Saracens), Charlie Ewels (Bath), Jamie George (Saracens, captain), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Marler (Harlequins), George Martin (Leicester Tigers), Gabriel Oghre (Bristol Bears), Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks), Ethan Roots (Exeter Chiefs), Will Stuart (Bath), Sam Underhill (Bath).

Backs (16):

Joe Carpenter (Sale Sharks), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter Chiefs), Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints), George Furbank (Northampton Saints), Ollie Lawrence (Bath), Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints), Luke Northmore (Harlequins), Harry Randall (Bristol Bears), Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints), Fin Smith (Northampton Saints), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Ben Spencer (Bath), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers).

England’s summer fixtures (UK and Irish time)

Saturday June 22 – vs Japan (6.50am)
Saturday July 6 – vs New Zealand (8.05am), live on Sky Sports
Saturday July 13 – vs New Zealand (8.05am), live on Sky Sports

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