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Jamie George retained by England as Jones cuts squad to 25

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

England boss Eddie Jones has trimmed his 36-strong squad down to 25, including the fit-again Jamie George and excluding the likes of Jack Singleton, Tommy Freeman and Alex Mitchell ahead of next Saturday’s Autumn Nations Series game against Japan at Twickenham.

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It was Monday lunchtime when the RFU confirmed that George, Freeman and Mitchell had been called into the squad following Sunday’s 30-29 loss to Argentina.

That unexpected defeat – the fifth for England in their nine games so far in 2022 – has heaped pressure on Jones to start getting better results just ten months out from the start of the 2023 World Cup in France.

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He has kept faith, though, with 22 of last Sunday’s matchday 23, with only sub hooker Singleton dropping out of the squad to accommodate George. The latest update also confirmed that Manu Tuilagi will be available for next Saturday’s game versus Japan despite the issues he had with a blister as a starter against the Pumas.

Jone had assembled 19 forwards in camp on Monday and he has retained 14, releasing Tom Pearson, Sean Robinson, Bevan Rodd, Singleton and Hugh Tizard.  In the backs, 17 were called in at the start of the week and eleven now remain. Freeman, George Furbank, Max Malins, Will Joseph, Mitchell and Caden Murley are the six players released.

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An RFU statement Wednesday night read: “Eddie Jones has retained a 25-player squad for England’s Autumn Nations Series match against Japan this weekend. England take on the Brave Blossoms at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday, November 12 (3.15pm KO). The match is live on Amazon Prime Sport and TalkSPORT.”

England squad (vs Japan, Saturday)
Forwards (14):
Alex Coles (Northampton Saints, 1 cap)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 38 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 42 caps)
Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 40 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 69 caps)
Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 6 caps)
Jonny Hill (Sale Sharks, 16 caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 59 caps)
David Ribbans (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 15 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 53 caps)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 65 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 71 caps)
Jack Willis (unattached, 5 caps)

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Backs (11):
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 13 caps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 98 caps)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 69 caps)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 43 caps)
Guy Porter (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 49 caps)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 14 caps)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 14 caps)
Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 47 caps)
Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 4 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 118 caps)

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