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Wholesale changes to the Saxons EPS

09 January 2014

  • Dave Ewers and Sam Dickinson rewarded for domestic form 
  • Freddie Burns set to play against O2 Ireland Wolfhounds on January 25 
Sam Dickinson offloads

Photo: Getty Images

Powerful back-row pair Dave Ewers and Sam Dickinson have been rewarded for their destructive domestic displays with promotions to the much-changed England Saxons Elite Player Squad.

Zimbabwe-born Exeter Chiefs No.8 Ewers, 23, and 28 year-old Northampton Saint Dickinson – who has been deployed in the same position for the East Midlands outfit – are among the Aviva Premiership’s success stories this season, proving extremely influential in a large part to some outstanding carrying.

They replace Leicester Tigers duo Jordan Crane and Thomas Waldrom, while 2013 Junior World Championship-winner Henry Slade is also brought in after impressing for Rob Baxter’s Chiefs at fly half in recent months – taking George Ford’s absent spot.

Props Nathan Catt (Bath Rugby), Will Collier (Harlequins) and Matt Mullan (London Wasps) also move into the squad at the expense of Gloucester Rugby’s Nick Wood and Paul Doran Jones of Harlequins.

Bath Rugby flyer Anthony Watson arrives from the Under 20 party as well and, with Mullan, moves up into the Senior squad as an injury replacement. They will both report to Pennyhill Park on January 20 to prepare for the RBS 6 Nations opener against France in Paris.

Henry Slade kicks for goal

Photo: Getty Images

Finally, Cherry and Whites centre Henry Trinder comes in to complete the 32-man group, replacing Saracens wing David Strettle. London Wasps’ Kearnan Myall is the final player to drop out.

The Saxons will play two matches, kicking off against the O2 Ireland Wolfhounds at Kingsholm on January 25 before facing Scotland A at Scotstoun on January 31.

As Stuart Lancaster explained, Freddie Burns will be considered for the first of those two games, while Saxons Stephen Myler, Richard Wigglesworth and Rob Webber will train with the senior squad during the build-up to the RBS 6 Nations.

“Stephen Myler has a chance to lay down a marker when he trains with us,” said the England Head Coach. “We have also decided that Freddie Burns should get more international game time with the Saxons against the O2 Ireland Wolfhounds at Kingsholm on January 25.

“Rob Webber and Richard Wigglesworth will give some real depth to our training.”

England Saxons EPS (32)

Forwards (17)

Nathan Catt (Bath Rugby)
Calum Clark (Northampton Saints) 
Will Collier (Harlequins)
Sam Dickinson (Northampton Saints)
Dave Ewers (Exeter Chiefs)
Will Fraser (Saracens) 
James Haskell (London Wasps) 
Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs) 
Graham Kitchener (Leicester Tigers) 
George Kruis (Saracens)
Matt Mullan (London Wasps)
David Paice (London Irish) 
George Robson (Harlequins) 
Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers) 
Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks) 
Luke Wallace (Harlequins) 
Rob Webber (Bath Rugby)

Backs (15)

Anthony Allen (Leicester Tigers) 
Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints) 
Elliot Daly (London Wasps) 
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby) 
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby) 
Ugo Monye (Harlequins) 
Stephen Myler (Northampton Saints) 
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Joe Simpson (London Wasps)  
Mathew Tait (Leicester Tigers) 
Joel Tomkins (Saracens)
Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)
Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)