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Veteran trio omitted as Borthwick names 36-man England Six Nations squad

By PA
(Photo by Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images)

England head coach Steve Borthwick has dropped veterans Billy Vunipola, Jonny May and Jack Nowell for his first Six Nations squad.

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Borthwick has jettisoned three established performers under his predecessor Eddie Jones, who was sacked last month and has now been appointed Australia boss.

Number eight Vunipola and wings May and Nowell were all involved in the 27-13 defeat by South Africa that concluded the autumn and spelt the end of the Jones era.

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Cole was dropped by England after the 2019 World Cup final while Daly has been frozen out since last year’s Championship despite his superb form for Saracens.

Northampton’s rookie fly-half Fin Smith is present for the first time, providing cover for Owen Farrell and Marcus Smith, while Ollie Hassell-Collins, George McGuigan, Cadan Murley and Jack Walker are the other uncapped players.

“This is an exciting squad, with a blend of Six Nations experience and young talent, and includes players who are in excellent form in the Premiership,” said Borthwick.

“We are all looking forward to the challenges of the Six Nations and we will approach this great tournament with a spirit of courage and total commitment. I know the players can’t wait to get back to Twickenham and give our fans a performance they can be proud of.

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“The hard work for the Scotland game starts now.”

FORWARDS:
Ollie Chessum
Dan Cole
Ben Curry
Alex Dombrandt
Ben Earl
Ellis Genge
Jamie George
Joe Heyes
Jonny Hill
Nick Isiekwe
Maro Itoje
Courtney Lawes
Lewis Ludlam
George McGuigan (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)
Bevan Rodd
Sam Simmonds
Kyle Sinckler
Mako Vunipola
Jack Walker (Harlequins, uncapped)
Jack Willis

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BACKS:
Elliot Daly
Owen Farrell
Tommy Freeman
Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish, uncapped)
Dan Kelly
Max Malins
Joe Marchant
Alex Mitchell
Cadan Murley (Harlequins, uncapped)
Henry Slade
Fin Smith (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Marcus Smith
Freddie Steward
Manu Tuilagi
Jack van Poortvliet
Ben Youngs

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Comments

1 Comment
l
lot 546 days ago

there's no need to be derogatory about players who played and continues to play amazing rugby for England. so what if they are dropped, this time, the new coach is allowed to bring his favourites loyal albeit OLD veterans like Coles into team. whether he will last , we 'll see. We know from history , the student (borthwick) will not be better than the teacher ( Eddie JOnes) . If Jones thought those 3 were good enough, then they were...

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Shaylen 3 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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J
Jon 9 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Ioane is going to be more than good enough to lock up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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