England men’s head coach Eddie Jones has named a 36-man squad to fly to Portugal next week for a training camp to prepare for the first match of the Quilter Internationals against South Africa.
Jones has confirmed that Owen Farrell (Saracens) and Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints) will be co-captains for the four-Test series.
There are eight uncapped players named in the squad including Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), Nathan Earle (Harlequins), Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors), Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby), Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs), Michael Rhodes (Saracens), Nick Schonert (Worcester Warriors) and Elliott Stooke (Bath Rugby).
Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby) is included for the first time since 2015. The 29-year-old number eight has played 31 Tests for his country with his final appearance coming against Australia during the last Rugby World Cup. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby) is selected in the squad for the first time this season while Hill has been named as an apprentice.
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Eddie Jones said: “I’m really happy with the squad. We can only control what we can control and injuries have happened. It gives an opportunity for some good new players to play some important Tests for England while players who have been in the squad before, will have to take on more responsibility.
Jones added: “I have named Dylan and Owen as co-captains for the series. They have both been excellent captains for England in the past and will provide a powerful leadership base for us on and off the field.”
On the training camp in Portugal Jones said: “We have taken a slightly different approach this year. With the World Cup in mind we are going to Portugal in the middle of next week until the Thursday of the Test week so will be back to train at Twickenham the day before we play South Africa. As well as giving the players a different experience it also gives them some rest after their club matches before joining up with England.
“The Portugal camp is about getting the team organised. The players have all been playing in different systems and with different ideas at their clubs so it’s about producing a team that is absolutely brutal in the physical contest, as the game demands, and also playing a smart English brand of rugby.”
On England’s first Test against South Africa Jones added: “South Africa have been going really well. They have a new coach and have selected well. They play a traditional Springbok game up front and move the ball wide when they need to. We’ll need to take them on up front and when we have opportunities to score points we have to be good enough to take them.
“We love Twickenham. The players feel the support and we can’t wait to get out there and play in front of 82,000 against South Africa.”
England will play South Africa (3 November), New Zealand (10 November), Japan (17 November) and Australia (24 November) at Twickenham Stadium, with the kick off for all games at 3pm, live on Sky Sports HD. England will travel to Portugal on Wednesday 24 October to begin their preparations for the four-Test series.
A 23-man squad will be confirmed on Tuesday 30 October ahead of the Test against the Springboks on 3 November. England will fly back to London from Portugal following the Test squad announcement on Thursday 1 November.
England men’s squad
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints) co-captain
Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs)
Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors) *
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby)
Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs)
Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby)
Michael Rhodes (Saracens)
Nick Schonert (Worcester Warriors)
Brad Shields (Wasps)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
Elliott Stooke (Bath Rugby)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)
Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks)
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby)
Elliot Daly (Wasps)
Nathan Earle (Harlequins)
Owen Farrell (Saracens) co-captain
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
Alex Lozowski (Saracens)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Unavailable for selection
Jack Clifford (Harlequins)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)
Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
Nick Isiekwe (Saracens)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Dan Robson (Wasps)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)
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