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SQUAD UPDATE – Vunipola brothers in 23 to face Australia

29 October 2013

  • Vunipola brothers among 23 players retained for Australia preparations
  • Geoff Parling unavailable after mild concussion at Tuesday training 
Mako Vunipola

Photo: Getty Images

Mako and Billy Vunipola will appear together in a Test match squad for the first time when England face Australia in the first QBE International on Saturday.

The Saracens pair are among 23 players that have been retained by head coach Stuart Lancaster and will stay at Pennyhill Park to make final preparations for the weekend.

Twelve others have been released to their Aviva Premiership clubs for the latest round of domestic competition. Scrum half Danny Care is among that group, and will return to Harlequins to leave Lee Dickson and Ben Youngs in contention for the number nine shirt.

After a brace of tries against Saracens, Ben Foden has forced his way into the 23, where he is joined by Marland Yarde, Chris Ashton and Mike Brown as the back-three options.   

British and Irish Lions lock Geoff Parling is unavailable for selection after sustaining a mild concussion during Tuesday afternoon's training session. The Leicester Tigers man will remain at England’s base for treatment with a view to returning to training next week, with loose-head prop Alex Corbisiero also staying in camp for continued rehabilitation on his knee injury.

Lancaster said: “It’s never easy deciding who to select and that’s what you want – players pushing hard for places across the board. We have had two good days of training here at Pennyhill Park and, added to last week in Leeds, we are in good form and looking forward to the game.

Geoff Parling sustained a mild concussion during a contact session this afternoon and will undergo the recommended graduated return to play protocol. As such, he will be unavailable for Saturday’s game but will stay in camp with a view to returning to training next week.”

England Squad to face Australia

Forwards (13)

David Attwood (Bath Rugby)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
Joe Launchbury (London Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
David Wilson (Bath Rugby)
Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Backs (10)

Chris Ashton (Saracens)
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
Joel Tomkins (Saracens)
Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby)
Marland Yarde (London Irish)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Alex Corbisiero (knee) and Geoff Parling (mild concussion) will also return to camp for continued treatment.

The following players have been released back to their Aviva Premiership clubs (11):

Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby)
Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby)
Alex Goode (Saracens)
Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs)
Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby)
Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks)
Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby)
Rob Webber (Bath Rugby)
Christian Wade (London Wasps)