George Ford and Billy Vunipola are among the senior players absent from an England training squad next week, but Eddie Jones has called up eight uncapped players – including the Harlequins starlet Louis Lynagh.
Ford and Vunipola, both of whom have more than 50 caps, were rested for the summer’s Tests against the USA and Canada, and have not been recalled to a 45-man group.
“We have left out some experienced players but we’re really clear that the door isn’t closed to them, and we’re looking forward to seeing them work hard to get back into contention,” said head coach Jones.
A number of senior players are back after the Lions and a period of rest, however. Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Kyle Sinckler, Joe Marler, Jonny May and Ben Youngs are all selected.
Notably, Sam Simmonds – a Lion this summer – receives his first England call-up since 2018. Lynagh, the 20-year-old son of Wallabies legend Michael, has burst onto the scene this year on Harlequins’ march to the Premiership title, and scored two tries in the opening game of the defence at Newcastle on Sunday.
His selection is an important one as his parentage means he is eligible for both Italy and Australia, who would no doubt have come calling before long. There are two other Harlequins among the uncapped players in flanker Jack Kenningham and hooker Sam Riley.
The Sale duo Bevan Rodd and Raffi Quirke are intriguing selections in that group, too. Nine players who made their Test debuts this summer are called up, including Marcus Smith, Alex Dombrandt and the Leicester full-back Freddie Steward.
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