05302017

Solomona one of 15 uncapped players for England’s Argentina tour

Joe Launchbury, Danny Care, Dylan Hartley and Mike Brown

Test regulars Joe Launchbury, Danny Care, Dylan Hartley and Mike Brown (left to right) are all included

England head coach Eddie Jones has named 15 uncapped players in his 31-man squad to tour Argentina in June.

Dylan Hartley will be captain after being left out of the Lions squad.

Flanker Sam Underhill, New Zealand-born cross-code convert Denny Solomona, and fly-half Piers Francis – who will join Northampton from Auckland Blues in the summer – are included.

There are also call-ups for Sale twins Ben and Tom Curry, 18, as well as Saracens forward Nick Isiekwe, 19.

London Irish wing Joe Cokanasiga and Harry Mallinder of Northampton are included too.

After missing out on selection for the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand, the likes of Joe Launchbury, James Haskell, Chris Robshaw, George Ford and Mike Brown all are included, but there is no place for Danny Cipriani, Christian Wade or Semesa Rokoduguni.

Harlequins player Jack Clifford and Sam Jones of Wasps are unavailable through injury.

“We are looking forward to going to Argentina and winning 2-0,” said head coach Jones.

Australian Glen Ella, who coached England on tour last summer, will again join Jones’ backroom team.

On the tour, England will face their hosts in San Juan on Saturday 10 June and in Santa Fe a week later.

Eddie Jones<!–

Asked if the squad was a gamble, Jones said: “A gamble would be not to improve the squad”

England tour ‘not a bad second prize’

At a news conference, Jones said he did not want to get involved in debate about the Lions squad.

“You miss out on a Lions tour and you get an England tour – it’s not a bad second prize,” said the Australian.

“If I can develop three or four of these guys to be better than the Lions guys, it will be a successful tour.

“It’s going to be a tough tour, but my job is to improve the squad. It’s a great opportunity where we can bring a bunch of young, enthusiastic and potentially good players into the squad at one time.”

Squad

Forwards: Will Collier (Harlequins, uncapped), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, uncapped), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, uncapped), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 3 caps), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap), Dylan Hartley – captain (Northampton Saints, 84 caps), James Haskell (Wasps, 75 caps), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints, 5 caps), Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 8 caps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, uncapped), Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 42 caps), Matt Mullan (Wasps, 15 caps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 55 caps), Sam Underhill (Ospreys/Bath Rugby, uncapped), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 50 caps)

Backs: Mike Brown – vice-captain (Harlequins, 60 caps), Danny Care – vice captain (Harlequins, 71 caps), Joe Cokanasiga (London Irish, uncapped), Nathan Earle (Saracens, uncapped), George Ford – vice captain (Bath Rugby, 35 caps), Piers Francis (Auckland Blues/Northampton Saints, uncapped), Sam James (Sale Sharks, uncapped), Alex Lozowski (Saracens, uncapped), Harry Mallinder (Northampton Saints, uncapped), Joe Marchant (Harlequins, uncapped), Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 25 caps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks, uncapped)

‘This is a startling squad’ – analysis

BBC Radio 5 live rugby reporter Chris Jones:

Even though 16 men are away with the Lions, this is a startling squad from Eddie Jones, with almost half of the touring party uncapped.

There are four men who helped clinch the Under 20s Grand Slam, one who recently qualified in Denny Solomona, while Sam Underhill and Piers Francis will both tour before they have played for their Premiership clubs.

Jones will lean on a wealth of experience – with all the main Lions casualties on this trip – but the abundance of youth points to a healthy future for English rugby.

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