England bring in uncapped Umaga for Six Nations
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Eddie Jones has named a 36-player squad for his England side’s autumn tournament fixtures.
England have been in training for the fixtures during October at The Lensbury in Teddington. The squad includes seven Premiership Finalists – Exeter Chiefs trio Jonny Hill, Henry Slade and Harry Williams, along with Wasps’ Joe Launchbury, Dan Robson, Jacob Umaga and Jack Willis.
Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ali Crossdale, Courtney Lawes, Jack Nowell, Manu Tuilagi and Mark Wilson are unavailable due to injury.
Elliot Daly, George Ford and Joe Marler will join up with the squad for reconditioning.
The big-name certainly missing is Exeter Chiefs double-winner Joe Simmonds.
With concerns over Farrell and Ford, the flyhalf Simmonds, who is arguably the form playmaker in English rugby, will be an ideal cover.
However, he is yet to be involved in an England training camp.
England will play their final match of the rescheduled 2020 Six Nations against Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday, October 31, knowing a bonus-point win could see them lift the trophy.
They will then return to begin their Autumn Nations Cup campaign at Twickenham Stadium where they will play three internationals. England will play Georgia (Saturday, November 14) and Ireland (Saturday, November 21).
England will then face Wales away (Saturday, November 28) before a placing match at home to determine final position in the competition (Sunday, December 6).
Jones said: “We have to put our best foot forward if we want to win the Six Nations. We need to set the tone of the game and we want to put a smile on fans’ faces, a lot of people are enduring hardships and we are grateful for the opportunity to represent England in these difficult times.
“We were obviously disappointed with the postponement of the Barbarians game but we moved to plan B, had a highly competitive training session instead of the match and now we are fully focused on the Italy game and the goal of winning the Six Nations.
“It was a tough squad to pick and I know there are a number of disappointed players that have just missed out. We’ve got a good balance between experience and inexperience.
“With nine players out injured, it does create some opportunities for the younger guys to show what they can do. We’re very happy with what we’ve seen in the mini-camps and the Barbarians training week, it’s been really competitive.”
Recently appointed skills coach Jason Ryles will join up with the team for the start of the Autumn Nations Cup, after finishing the season and winning the NRL Grand Final with Melbourne Storm, where he was assistant coach.
Backs: Joe Cokanasiga, Owen Farrell, George Furbank, Willi Heinz, Jonathan Joseph, Ollie Lawrence, Max Malins, Joe Marchant, Jonny May, Dan Robson, Henry Slade, Ollie Thorley, Jacob Umaga, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs
Forwards: Tom Curry, Tom Dunn, Ben Earl, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Jonny Hill, Ted Hill, Maro Itoje, Joe Launchbury, Lewis Ludlam, Beno Obano, David Ribbans, Jack Singleton, Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Harry Williams, Jack Willis