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England name 36-man squad that includes uncapped Irish back row

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by PA)

England boss Eddie Jones has confirmed following a Tuesday evening training session at Pennyhill Park that he has a 36-man squad with him preparing for next Sunday’s round two Guinness Six Nations match away to Italy in Rome that includes one surprise name – uncapped Tom Pearson of London Irish.


The head coach had revealed earlier in the day at his noon media briefing that the fit-again Joe Launchbury had been recalled to the squad for matchweek two following a rib cartilage injury suffered by Lewis Ludlam, who started in the round one loss in Edinburgh and was now unavailable for selection

Jones also outlined at that press session that Courtney Lawes had less than a 50 per cent chance of being available for selection against Italy, while he added his reasons for leaving Manu Tuilagi at Sale for more Gallagher Premiership action.

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There had been speculation that Tuilagi could be recalled following the loss at Murrayfield. However, rather than ask him to rejoin the Test squad after he played just 30 minutes for his club last Sunday in his first action since getting injured playing for England in November, Jones preferred to leave him in Manchester.  

When Jones held his media briefing, he explained the full squad would be confirmed later in the day as his players were only arriving in Bagshot while he spoke and were subject to medical checks and a round of covid testing before the evening training session under lights.  


An RFU statement has now confirmed that the 36-strong squad contains the name of Pearson, a 22-year-old from London Irish who has been busy as their Gallagher Premiership openside this term. He made his senior team debut in the October league win at Exeter and has now played a total of ten matches across all competitions in what is his first season involved.   


Jonny Hill is with the squad in camp to continue his rehab but he wasn’t named in the official 36. Also not included were Luke Northmore, who reported with a hamstring injury and was unable to train, while Orlando Bailey was not been called back this week after being one of the players cut last Tuesday when the squad for the Scotland game was reduced from 37 to 29.  

Five other players omitted when that cut happened last week – uncapped duo Alfie Barbeary and Louis Lynagh, rookie tighthead Joe Heyes, and capped pair Raffi Quirke and Adam Radwan – were all brought back for training this week. 

ENGLAND SQUAD (vs Italy, Sunday)
Alfie Barbeary (Wasps, uncapped)
Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, 5 caps)
Ollie Chessum, Leicester Tigers, uncapped)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 32 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 37 caps)
Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 5 caps)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 27 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 32 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 62 caps)
Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 52 caps)
Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, 4 caps)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 69 caps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 90 caps)
Joe Marler (Harlequins, 75 caps)
Tom Pearson (London Irish, uncapped)
Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 2 caps)
Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 10 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 48 caps)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 16 caps) 

BACKS (16)
Mark Atkinson (Gloucester Rugby, 1 cap)
Elliot Daly (Saracens, 53 caps)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 78 caps)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 5 caps)
Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish, uncapped)
Louis Lynagh (Harlequins, uncapped)
Max Malins (Saracens, 11 caps)
Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 8 caps)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 34 caps)
Raffi Quirke (Sale Sharks, 2 caps)
Adam Radwan (Newcastle Falcons, 2 caps)
Harry Randall (Bristol Bears, 2 caps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 44 caps)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 6 caps)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 6 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 113 caps)


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