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VIDEO - Lancaster explains Senior and Saxons squad selections

09 January 2013

  • Lancaster names 65 players in Senior and Saxons squads
  • Burns, Clark, Haskell, Launchbury, Strettle, Twelvetrees and Youngs promoted 

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster has announced the revised January 2013 Senior and England Saxons Elite Player Squads. 

There are seven changes from the July 2012 Senior squad, with call-ups for fly half Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby), flankers Calum Clark (Northampton Saints) and James Haskell (London Wasps), lock Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), wing David Strettle (Saracens), centre Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby) and hooker Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

The requirement for an eight-man replacements’ bench during the RBS 6 Nations means that the Senior squad has been extended to 33 and prop Mako Vunipola (Saracens), who debuted in the QBE Internationals this autumn, graduates from the Saxons as the additional player.

London Wasps No.8 Billy Vunipola

Photo: Getty Images

There are seven changes to the Saxons group with Elliot Daly (London Wasps), Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby), Will Fraser (Saracens), Shaun Knight (Gloucester Rugby), Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers), Joel Tomkins (Saracens) and Billy Vunipola (London Wasps) all making their first appearances this season. No.8 Vunipola will train with the senior set-up in Leeds (January 20-25) while flanker Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers) continues his return-to-play programme with the senior squad after eight months out with a neck injury.

Lancaster said: “The fact that we have spent significant time deliberating over quite a few players shows how tough the competition is to get into this 65 and the strength in depth that is emerging. We have made some changes to both squads and we feel that reflects the players’ form during the first half of the season.

“There will be undoubtedly be movement between the two squads as we go through the RBS 6 Nations and that was evident in the QBE Internationals, with players in form pushing through such as Freddie Burns, Joe Launchbury, Tom Youngs and Mako Vunipola.

England and Leicester Tigers hooker Tom Youngs

Photo: Getty Images

"This is a very important year for England, with the Six Nations and the Saxons games to look forward to so there are some great opportunities for the players to demonstrate their club form at international level.

“The summer tour to Argentina will also be a great chance for those players pushing for a place, especially with some of our senior squad hopefully going with the Lions, and chances will undoubtedly arise as we hope to play two midweek games as well as the two Tests.”

The Senior squad will attend a training camp at West Park Leeds RFC between Sunday, January 20 and Friday, January 25 before meeting up at Pennyhill Park, Bagshot on Sunday, January 27 to prepare for England’s RBS 6 Nations opener against Scotland at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday, February 2 (4pm).

The Saxons will meet up on Monday, January 21 at Surrey Sports Park ahead of their match against the 02 Ireland Wolfhounds in Galway on Friday, January 25 (7.35pm).

England Senior Elite Player Squad (33)

Forwards (18)

Calum Clark (Northampton Saints)
Alex Corbisiero (London Irish)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
James Haskell (London Wasps)
Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs)
Joe Launchbury (London Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby)
Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers)
David Wilson (Bath Rugby)
Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Backs (15)

Chris Ashton (Saracens)
Brad Barritt (Saracens)
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
Alex Goode (Saracens)
Jonathan Joseph (London Irish)
David Strettle (Saracens)
Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

England Saxons Elite Player Squad (32)

Forwards (17)

Mouritz Botha (Saracens)
Nathan Catt (Bath Rugby)
Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers)
Paul Doran Jones (Northampton Saints)
Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints)
Will Fraser (Saracens)
Joe Gray (Harlequins)
Graham Kitchener (Leicester Tigers)
Shaun Knight (Gloucester Rugby)
Matt Kvesic (Worcester Warriors)
Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors)
David Paice (London Irish)
Tom Palmer (London Wasps)
George Robson (Harlequins)
Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers)
Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks)
Billy Vunipola (London Wasps)

Backs (15)

Nick Abendanon (Bath Rugby)
Anthony Allen (Leicester Tigers)
Tom Biggs (Bath Rugby)
Elliot Daly (London Wasps)
Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
George Lowe (Harlequins)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)
Ugo Monye (Harlequins)
Joe Simpson (London Wasps)
Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby)
Joel Tomkins (Saracens)
Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins)
Christian Wade (London Wasps)
Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)