England Squad for the Autumn Internationals

Martin Johnson has just named his revised EPS squad for the Autumn Internationals, and here it is.

Steffon Armitage (London Irish)
*David Barnes (Bath Rugby)
Duncan Bell (Bath Rugby)
*Richard Blaze (Leicester Tigers)
Steve Borthwick (Saracens, CAPTAIN)
George Chuter (Leicester Tigers)
Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers)
Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers)
Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
James Haskell (Stade Francais)
Ben Kay (Leicester Tigers)
*Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Lewis Moody (Leicester Tigers)
Tim Payne (London Wasps)
Steve Thompson (CA Brive)
David Wilson (Bath Rugby)
Joe Worsley (London Wasps)

Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks)
Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
Shane Geraghty (Northampton Saints)
Andy Goode (CA Brive)
Dan Hipkiss (Leicester Tigers)
Paul Hodgson (London Irish)
Ugo Monye (Harlequins)
David Strettle (Harlequins)
Mathew Tait (Sale Sharks)
Mike Tindall (Gloucester Rugby)
Richard Wigglesworth (Sale Sharks)
Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon)

* Denotes uncapped player

21 thoughts on “England Squad for the Autumn Internationals

  1. Good to see Courtney Lawes in there, although the fact that Borthwick is still captain means that there is only one place up for grabs in the second row. Nick Kennedy might be feeling a little aggrieved to miss out, particularly as Louis Deacon is in the squad.

    Steve Thompson returns to the setup after a long absence, but other than that, there are no huge surprises.

  2. Also glad to see Lawes in there, hope he’s given some time off the bench to discover what international rugby is all about. But surely his selection (and form) only highlights what Borthwick is lacking? There’s still a Leicester bias about Johnson’s (and Wells’) selections… I hope this doesn’t result in more non-rugby being played.

    Who plays 13? Tindall? He’s lacking form and only just back from injury. Tait? I don’t think he even knows what form looks like any more. Hipkiss? Is he really an international player? No. No he’s not. So who? Why no Clarke or Waldouc in the squad?

  3. Only one real recognised 8 in the squad and is he a footballer, or just another Easter in disguise?

    The backs look exciting (with baited breathe), but will they get the fast ball they actually need.

    Why oh why is Worsley still in the squad?

  4. Tindall will probably slot in at 13 alongside Wilko and Geraghty. Shame Jon Clarke didn’t get called up – he’s been looking superb so far this season.

    Who will play full-back? Foden? There aren’t any real specialists in the squad in that position.

  5. This is a dull squad.

    Kennedy should be in it. Lawes is the future, but Kennedy is performing much better than Deacon.

    What has Wigglesworth done to deserve being in there?!

    But the worst is the presence of Barnes and Bell! Good god what a poor decision! Yes a lot of the young props are injured, but there must be a better option than those two?! I feel for Mark Lambert of Quins. He plays week in week out for them and played at all the age levels for England but has been pipped by Barnes and Bell…gutting.

  6. It’s starting to sink in that this isn’t a great squad…

    Goode, Thompson, Wigglesworth, Deacon, Chuter and Barnes are all lucky to be selected, which is quite a large proportion of the squad.

    It’s just a good job that the Aussies are rubbish at scrummaging ;)

  7. Completely agree that there are lot of names there that should never have gotten anywhere near the squad list, however try and remember guys that his squad is only due to an abudance of injuries – or at least I would hope thats the reason and that a lot of names in the squad wouldn’t get a look in otherwise. However, due to this issue, it has raised a question mark over the future of english rugby as we appear to have no one worth mentioning coming up through the ranks. What is happening to grass roots these days if, when things go bad, we have to look to the old guard/oaps to complete a squad – especially forwards.

  8. After our Rugby Blog Podcast interview with him last week, I’ve just exchanged texts with Nick Kennedy cos I felt aggrieved on his behalf that Johnno’s overlooked him again in favour of two Leicester men. Disgraceful. He admitted to feeling rather disappointed… I wont put what he actually said!

    Sky Sports highlighted how he’s been miles ahead of anyone for line-out steals, even bossing the two boys who’ve been picked! Terrible Johnson.

    Our front row will be creaking but still, the dream of an injury free Wilko and what Geraghty might bring alongside him is still enough to whet the appetite for a good autumn series. Full preview in Podcast 10, out Thurs 5th November!

  9. I think a few players will be feeling overlooked since this announcement. Kennedy obviously, Dan Ward-Smith perhaps, Chris Robshaw, Dom Waldouck, Joe Simpson…

    There’s a list of exciting players that I’d rather see in an England shirt than someone like Deacon, Worsley, Wiggles etc

  10. Quite frankly, Kennedy’s omission is shocking. I’d also have gone with Flatman ahead of Barnes out of the Bath props. Unfortunately Gloucester’s shocking form makes my perennial case for Simpson-Daniel a bit harder but I would have picked him anyway!

  11. I would say that there is no room for favouritism, but frankly the number of players with Leicester links makes me think otherwise.

    To be honest, I think whoever Johnno picked would have caused frustration somehow given the number of injuries, so I think we’ll just have to wait and see how we get on.

    Our starting XV will still be pretty decent (front row aside), but another few injuries and we could be in trouble.

  12. Kennedy has every right to feel angry about his omission. Courtney Lawes fully deserves his inclusion, but Ben Kay and Louis Deacon should never have been selected if Kennedy is not. Don’t know about Blaze, but it definitely does feel as though there is a huge favouritism towards Leicester – a quarter of the squad is Leicester!!! How the hell has Wigglesworth been included too? If we need 3 scrum halfs in the squad, then Joe simpson should have gotten the nod – he is running circles around everyone else. Apart from front row, I think we could have a strong team, especially within the backs, but due to favouritism, I think the wrong people will get the nod

  13. stop knocking the front row! You can’t beat experience in the scrum and there is certainly plenty of that. It is always risky fielding a team of young players with relatively little experience so I am right behind Johnno’s decision of including players who may be in their inter years of rugby.

  14. I agree that we need experience, but for me it’s not their age that’s the biggest problem. I know we have almost unprecedented injury problems in the front row, but David Barnes isn’t even a regular in the Bath front row.

    Flatman would probably have been a better option in my view, but we’ll find out against Australia!

  15. Experience is definitely very important, however so is playing 80 mins at high level international rugby. Also, experience is best in the form of consistency – and since none of the selected have any experience playing together, let alone much international experience, it unfortunately does leave us weak in the front row

  16. Looks like we will be without first choice for half or more of the starting XV, with 3rd choice for some, and so early in the season. I dread to think what it’s going to be like by the time the 6N starts.

    What is it with Kennedy!? This should be no surprise to us I guess, since Johnno has consistently omitted him, but I’d love to know why (if you guys ever get a podcast opportunity with Johnno and ask for ideas for questions, expect a lot of posts from this group).

    I’d go with Hipkiss at 13. Maybe he isn’t world class (not sure we know enough to conclude that yet), but as in most positions for this squad, it’s a question of who’s the best available player? When you consider the likely starters at 10, 11, 12, 14 and 15, I think Hipkiss would be a great add. Would also have liked to see Waldouck in the squad at least.

  17. Waldock’s now out for 4 weeks – would be interesting to know if that was known by MJ before selection of the squad. Hipkiss is yet to be proven, though he was on the edge during 2007 and made a good case to be included. By all accounts, he’s added a yard of pace since then and has been putting in some sound performances for Leicester. When you compare that to the current form of the other centres in the squad you’re left wondering…

    On the Kennedy / Borthwick issue, I’d say it’s fair to hold up our collective hands and recognise that Johnson of all people is best qualified to select the best 2nd rows.

  18. I don’t disagree Justin that Johnno is in a strong position to judge locks, but would qualify by saying that it is not his selection I disagree with, it’s the underlying gameplan and structure he favors. For the vision he seems to have for this team (which is essentially similar to the 2003 version, but with even more focus on up-front grunt and less on creativity and dynamism) then picking lumbering but reliable workhorses like Borthwick and Kay could make sense. Neither are a match for Johnno in his day, but they are in his mould. But in my view it’s the vision of the right gameplan that’s wrong, and choices like the ones affecting people like Kennedy are painful examples.

    Bummer about Waldouck, but he’s got a long future ahead of him.

  19. Interesting comments about Kennedy, but he isn’t in the squad, so does the capable but ordinary Deacon get the nod or does Johnno go mad and pick the undoubted talent of Lawes? Wouldn’t it be brilliant if for once he went mad and put in the new boy. As for Haskell – obviously got great ability (and isn’t shy about telling everyone about it) so this really could be his chance to show the world how good he really can be…a No. 8 will always get more opportunities to shine than a no 6, so make or break time.

    Finally, I pray that Johnno goes with Hipkiss and not the plodding Tindall. Whether or not Hipkiss is the real thing is yet to be seen, but at least he stays on his feet and creates opportunities for others further down the field, plus he can actually pass! I am afraid that HRH Tinds was a top centre 5 years ago, but time has well and truly caught up with him.

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