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Seven uncapped players named in 19-strong England training squad

By Liam Heagney
Exeter's Rusi Tuima is one of the seven uncapped players named by England (Photo by Bob Bradford/CameraSport via Getty Images)

Steve Borthwick has named seven uncapped players – including Harlequins’ Fin Baxter, Exeter duo Greg Fisilau and Rusi Tuima, and Newcastle’s Guy Pepper – in his first England training squad ahead of the upcoming three-Test tour to Japan and New Zealand.

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England signed off on their recent Guinness Six Nations with a third-place finish following a narrow March 16 defeat to France in Lyon.

They will now reassemble 10 weeks later at Pennyhill with an initial squad consisting of players whose club seasons in the Gallagher Premiership ended with last weekend’s final round of regular season fixtures.

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No players from any of the four semi-final clubs – Northampton, Saracens, Bath, or Sale – were available to Borthwick for this first training camp.

Veteran props Dan Cole and Joe Marler were omitted despite their respective seasons for Leicester and Harlequins having ended on May 18, but both are fit and will be named in the squad for the second week of preparation beginning on Tuesday, June 4.

Fixture
Internationals
Japan
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22 Jun 24
England
All Stats and Data

Five uncapped forwards – the four mentioned above and Bristol’s Gabriel Oghre – will be involved at this week’s initial gathering along with two uncapped backs, Gloucester’s Charlie Atkinson and Harlequins’ Luke Northmore.

However, their week one training squad inclusion doesn’t guarantee they will definitely travel to the Far East and on to New Zealand as the expectation is that some will be released by the time the official tour party is confirmed.

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Of the six clubs represented this week, Harlequins and Exeter both provide five players, four are from Leicester, three from Bristol, with Newcastle and Gloucester providing one player each.

It was confirmed last Friday that Six Nations vice-captain Ellis Genge has been ruled out of the tour due to a calf injury, joining Ollie Chessum, another Borthwick selection favourite, on the unavailable list.

An RFU statement read: “Steve Borthwick has named a 19-player training squad to begin preparations for the forthcoming Summer Series against Japan and New Zealand.

“The squad – which does not include players involved in the Gallagher Premiership play-offs – will assemble at the Honda England rugby performance centre at Pennyhill Park on Monday for a four-day training camp.

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“England’s Summer Series begins on Saturday, June 22, with a Test match against Japan in Tokyo before embarking on a two-Test tour of New Zealand to take on the All Blacks in Dunedin on Saturday, July 6, and in Auckland on Saturday, July 13.”

ENGLAND SQUAD
Forwards (10):
Fin Baxter (Harlequins)
Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins)
Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins)
Greg Fisilau (Exeter Chiefs)
Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)
George Martin (Leicester Tigers)
Gabriel Oghre (Bristol Bears)
Guy Pepper (Newcastle Falcons)
Ethan Roots (Exeter Chiefs)
Rusi Tuima (Exeter Chiefs)

Backs (9):
Charlie Atkinson (Gloucester Rugby)
Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter Chiefs)
Max Malins (Bristol Bears)
Luke Northmore (Harlequins)
Harry Randall (Bristol Bears)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers)
Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers)

England Summer Series schedule:
Japan vs England: June 22, National Stadium;
New Zealand vs England: July 6, Forsyth Barr Stadium;
New Zealand vs England: July 13, Eden Park.

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Comments

5 Comments
T
Tom 23 days ago

JVP is a nope from me. He plays at too slow a tempo for modern international rugby.

f
finn 24 days ago

I’m really glad Fisilau & Tuima are picked.

I am a bit surprised about Charlie Atkinson though. He’s not likely to be picked ahead of Smith, Smith, or Ford, and I reckon the 4th and 5th best eligible fly-halves might be Furbank and Slade. The main positional weakness England have is at 12, but this squad doesn’t include a single inside centre. Couldn’t Dan Kelly or Seb Atkinson have been selected instead?

f
finn 24 days ago

“Steve Borthwick has named seven uncapped players – including Harlequins’ Fin Baxter, Exeter duo Greg Fisilau and Rusi Tuima, and Newcastle’s Guy Pepper – in his first England training squad ahead of the upcoming three-Test tour to Japan and New Zealand.”

isn’t Pepper actually the only guy on that list who has been in an England squad before?

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