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The 5 major omissions from Steve Borthwick's first England team

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

A number of players have been snubbed by Steve Borthwick as the head coach named a revamped side for England’s Guinness Six Nations opener against Scotland.


Borthwick named a 29-man team on Tuesday, so that meant at least six players were going to be left out when the Cumbrian named the first official England side of his tenure.

Tuilagi, a veteran of 46 caps and a regular choice for the Red Rose for much of the past decade, has not even been named in Borthwick’s first 23-man squad. Joe Marchant takes the 31-year-old’s place in the England line-up. London Irish’s Ollie Hassell-Collin has been handed his first cap in a rejigged backline following injuries to Elliot Daly, Henry Slade and Dan Kelly in the build-up to Saturday’s fixture.

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Exeter Chiefs back row Sam Simmonds has also missed out on the 23. British & Irish Lions star Simmonds, who can play at No.8 or at openside, has been overlooked in favour of Ben Curry and Ben Earl. Curry will be awarded his first cap against major opposition following his debut against the United States nearly two years ago. Lewis Ludlam joins Curry as the other flanker, with Alex Dombrandt at number eight. Earl is named on the bench.

Rookie Northampton winger Tommy Freeman didn’t make the 23-man cut, with Borthwick opting for fellow new boy Ollie Hassell-Collins to start, with the experience of Anthony Watson to spring from the bench.

After winning his first cap in the Autumn, Ribbans didn’t make the cut for the 23 after being named in the reduced squad two days ago.

Another big star that hasn’t made the cut in the loose forwards despite being a force to reckon with for Toulouse in recent months. Willis had already been left out of the 29-man squad named on Tuesday so exclusion from the match day team was already flagged. While obviously part of the squad, playing in France and rumours that he’ll stay offshore might well have played in the selection call.


Sale prop Bevan Rodd and Bath hooker Tom Dunn also didn’t make the matchday 23.

England team: Steward (Leicester); Malins (Saracens, Marchant (Harlequins, 13 caps), Farrell (Saracens, capt), Hassell-Collins (London Irish); Smith (Harlequins), Van Poortvliet (Leicester); Genge (Bristol), George (Saracens), Sinckler (Bristol), Itoje (Saracens), Chessum (Leicester), Ludlam (Northampton), Curry (Sale), Dombrandt (Harlequins).

Replacements: Walker (Harlequins), Vunipola (Saracens), Cole (Leicester), Isiekwe (Saracens), Earl (Saracens), Youngs (Leicester), Lawrence (Bath), Watson (Leicester).

additional reporting PA



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