England announces initial training squad


England head coach Stuart Lancaster has announced an initial training squad of 20 players, from the six clubs whose seasons have finished, for the Barbarians game and New Zealand tour.

The Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester Rugby, London Irish, Newcastle Falcons, Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors players will be in contention for selection for the tour to New Zealand next month and the match against the Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday, June 1.

Players from the six remaining Aviva Premiership clubs (Bath Rugby, Harlequins, Leicester Tigers, London Wasps, Northampton Saints and Saracens) will be added to the squad following the conclusion of the Aviva Premiership semi-finals and final (May 17/18 and 31), the Amlin Challenge Cup final (May 23), Heineken Cup final (May 24) and Wasps’ European Rugby Champions Cup play-off (May 18 and 24).

The final squads for the tour to New Zealand and the Barbarians match will be announced at midday on Monday, May 26th.

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: “The New Zealand tour and the game against the Barbarians give us a chance to look at a wide group of players, some of whom are well known to us from the Elite Player Squad, others who we will get to work with for the first time next week. That is an exciting challenge for us coaches and it’s a great opportunity for those players to put a marker down for selection for the tour and the Barbarians game.”

England training squad
Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons)
Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby)
Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Dave Ewers (Exeter Chiefs)
Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs)
Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs)
Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)
Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby)
Michael Paterson (Sale Sharks)
Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors)
Dan Robson (Gloucester Rugby)
Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Tommy Taylor (Sale Sharks)
Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks)
Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby)
Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby)
Marland Yarde (London Irish)

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

16 thoughts on “England announces initial training squad

  1. Actually a surprisingly good looking squad without all the top team’s (bar Sale) players.

    Also well done Chris Pennell. If anyone deserves a shot at playing for England, it is him…

    1. Yeah, considering it’s the teams that came 6th and 8th-12th, it’s not bad at all. If they gel well they may well have a chance against the Baa Baas, but as it stands I reckon it’s our best chance for them to beat us for a good few years.

  2. So, for fun;

    15. Pennell

    14. Yarde
    13. Trinder
    12. Hill
    11. May

    10. Cipriani
    9. Robson

    1. Thomas
    2. Cowan-Dickie
    3. Brookes
    4. Paterson
    5. Ewers
    6. Johnson
    7. Kvesic
    8. Morgan

    Artistic licence with Lock and Loose-Head. A little surprised that the young lock from Gloucester isn’t there, but otherwise seems pretty decent given the limitations.

    1. Agreed Stooke probably deserves a spot, but as this team will never take to the park I suspect they feel like there are enough locks from the 6 teams missing to come back into the squad that it was pointless including him for this.

      When you think of the guys to come in (Slater, Kitchener, Parling, Lawes, Attwood, Launchbury) they’re probably right!

  3. It’s good to see some of these players get a chance to impress in training, but with about 28-30 other players (that are not injured) that I would count as definites and a few others that are probably higher in the pecking order than some here, it’s pretty clear all of these won’t be going to NZ.

    1. Getting a little enthusiastic there. Some will almost certainly be going (twelvetrees, morgan, may, yarde, johnson/kvesic)

      But point taken.

      1. Yeah my wording wasn’t great, what I should have said is ‘not all of these players will be going’

  4. How many of these do you think are just there to make the numbers up? A little surprised to see Burns and Kvesic there as they are known well anyway and haven’t been in good form and Brookes can’t be too high up in pecking order?

    Maybe i’m being a little harsh….on another note really happy to see some really in form players like Pennell, Cipriani,Cowan-dickie and Paterson.

    1. To be honest, lots. Provided there are no injuries to anyone in the teams omitted from selection, there are about 30 players to come back to the squad, and that’s assuming there are no bolters from the 6 teams not accounted for.

      There are probably one or two spots available from those named above that have not been involved with the full squad before.

  5. Well the No2 shirt seems pretty wide open at the moment (although Hartley seems to be on the mend, and Webber has got some support from Lancaster).

    Some players have a very real opportunity to show that they could push ahead of some of those not available, not necessarily the first choice players but, as an example;

    Robson vs Wigglesworth/Dickson?
    Brookes vs Thomas?
    Cipriani/Burns/Slade vs Myler?
    Kvesic vs Haskell/Clark/Wallace/Fraser?
    Sharples vs Ashton/Wade/Watson?
    Trinder vs Daly/Joseph/Barritt?

  6. Good examples, i think in the case of Trinder and the FH’s this may happen, but largely i would agree that, barring injuries in last few games, the majority of these will not tour.

    1. Yes, the majority probabl;y will not go, but don’t forget that they intend to take an “inflated” squad to New Zealand.

      Amongst these there are also some guaranteed tourists;

      plus at least one (possibly two) from Cipriani, Burns and Slade.

      So thats more than a third that will definitely tour.

  7. I’m wondering how Lancaster and Co will decide between some of the new players here and those still involved in the playoffs but haven’t been involved with England before. The most obvious example to me is hooker, with Ward at Quins (who has been on fire recently) and George at Saracens vs Cowan-Dickie and Taylor. I mean how can they objectively choose between players they have never worked with and players who have been training in camp.

    1. Agreed that players such as Ward and George are the most unfortunate in this lot.

      Possibly could add in the likes of Myler, Sinkler, Waller, Catt, Daly, Slater and even Haskell.

      The likes of Eastmond and Watson possibly not so much as whilst still fringe players they have spent a lot of time in and around the senior squad recently.

  8. Its an old debate but would taking Johnson and maybe one or 2 others be of benefit to England’s RWC campaign? I personally would omit fringe players like him, even though I think he is a good player, to give some vital time to someone who may have an I impact in 2015.

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