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England name 8 uncapped players in XV to start against the USA

By Liam Heagney

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Eddie Jones has named an England starting XV to take on the USA this Sunday containing just two of the starters that flopped in their last outing 15 weeks ago. Jones’ charges were comfortably beaten 32-18 in Dublin in their final match in the 2021 Guinness Six Nations.

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The fallout from that disappointing campaign resulted in widespread criticism of the coach and he was subjected to a much-publicised RFU review before he was assured by his paymasters that he was still their man to take the team through to the 2023 World Cup in France.

With multiple England first-choice players away with the Lions and other seasoned players such as George Ford, Ben Youngs and Jonny May rested, Jones has looked at the two-Test summer series versus the USA and Canada as his opportunity to freshen up his squad.

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Stuart Hogg talks about the Lions putting down an early marker on tour in South Africa

Following his use of a regularly revised squad these past three weeks, he has now selected a team to take on the Americans at Twickenham that contains eight uncapped players in the starting line-up and four more potential new caps on the bench.

With Ollie Lawrence and Charlie Ewels the only two repeat starters from Dublin, Jones has included squad regulars such as Henry Slade, Max Malins, Ellis Genge and Sam Underhill to ensure an experienced backbone is present to bolster the many newcomers in an XV skippered by rookie Lewis Ludlow.

Genge will vice-captain the team in a front row containing the uncapped Curtis Langdon and Joe Heyes, Ewels will partner Josh McNally at lock and Underhill lines up with Ludlow and Callum Chick in the back row. In the backs, the much-celebrated Marcus Smith, Harry Randall and Freddie Steward are the three rookies, while the four newcomers on the bench are Jamie Blamire, Trevor Davison, Ben Curry and Jacob Umaga. Of the 13 Premiership clubs for the upcoming 2021/22 season, every club bar London Irish has at least one player in the 23 where Bath lead the way with four starters and one more on the bench.

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Jones said: “Over the past three weeks our biggest message to the players is what an opportunity this is to show what they can do and make their mark with England. They have applied themselves as a group and worked very hard individually during this camp to reach their personal bests. Now it’s all about coming together as a team, gelling and putting in a good performance at the weekend.”

ENGLAND (vs USA, Sunday)
15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, uncapped)
14. Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)
13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 38 caps)
12. Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors, 6 caps)
11. Max Malins (Saracens, 7 caps)
10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, uncapped)
9. Harry Randall (Bristol Bears, uncapped)
1. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 28 caps)
2. Curtis Langdon (Sale Sharks, uncapped)
3. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, uncapped)
4. Josh McNally (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
5. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 21 caps)
6. Lewis Ludlow (C) (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)
7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 22 caps)
8. Callum Chick (Newcastle Falcons, uncapped)

Finishers
16. Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, uncapped)
17. Beno Obano (Bath Rugby, 1 cap)
18. Trevor Davison (Newcastle Falcons, uncapped)
19. Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors, 1 cap)
20. Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, uncapped)
21. Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 8 caps)
22. Dan Robson (Wasps, 12 caps)
23. Jacob Umaga (Wasps, uncapped)

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England name 8 uncapped players in XV to start against the USA

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