England squad for Autumn Internationals 2013


Head Coach Stuart Lancaster today announced the squad to prepare for the upcoming QBE Autumn Internationals against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand. The new additions to the senior squad are Exeter’s Tom Johnson, Northampton Saints’ Luther Burrell, Gloucester’s Henry Trinder and Saracens’ Joel Tomkins. They come in for the injured Brad Barritt, Manu Tuilagi and Tom Croft.

The players will assemble in Leeds on Monday, October 21 for a training camp before returning to their Surrey training base at Pennyhill Park on Sunday, October 27 ahead of the game against the Wallabies at Twickenham Stadium on November 2.

Speaking at Lloyd’s of London, Lancaster said: “We have been looking forward to this QBE Internationals series ever since we got back from Argentina. As a coaching group we have watched a lot of rugby and we are pleased with the form of the squad. The camp is an important part of our preparation and we are looking forward to meeting up.

“Inevitably there have been some injuries and there is still a big European weekend ahead. But injures always create opportunities and we are pleased to call up Tom Johnson, Joel Tomkins, Henry Trinder and Luther Burrell into the Senior EPS, with Luther joining us as injury cover so it will be great for him to come in and put a marker down in what is going to be a competitive selection leading into the Australia game.

“We have three major Tests ahead of us and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

England Elite Player Squad for QBE Internationals

David Attwood (Bath Rugby)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Alex Corbisiero (Northampton Saints)
Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby)
Joe Launchbury (London Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby)
Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
David Wilson (Bath Rugby)
Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Chris Ashton (Saracens)
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby)
Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
Alex Goode (Saracens)
Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby)
Joel Tomkins (Saracens)
Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby)
Christian Wade (London Wasps)
Marland Yarde (London Irish)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

44 thoughts on “England squad for Autumn Internationals 2013

    1. OK, so not many of them would make an All Blacks squad, but that doesn’t make it mediocre.

      Who is there that shouldn’t be? Who isn’t who should?

  1. Lancaster is raving about Trinder at the press conference – ‘He was a key at the Churchill Cup for me. He’s had injuries but is playing exceptionally well and is picked on fitness and form.’

    3 uncapped centres as the search to end the midfield woe continues.

    1. Also update on Corbs injury: He’s had fluid drained from his knee, with 2 weeks recovery recommended. He hopes to play “some if not all” of QBEs.

      Corbs looking like one of England’s most important players.

  2. No real surprises here then. Although I’m a little surprised the Goode is still in there? And I’m a Sarries fan!!
    My team based on this selection and current form:
    1. Corbisiero
    2. T. Youngs
    3. Cole
    4. Launchbury
    5. Parling
    6. Johnson
    7. Wood (c)
    8. B. Vunipola
    9. B. Youngs
    10. Farrell
    11. Yarde
    12. Twelvetrees
    13. Tomkins
    14. Ashton
    15. Foden

    16. Hartley
    17. M. Vunipola
    18. Wilson
    19. Lawes
    20. Morgan
    21. Dickson
    22. Flood
    23. Eastmond

    Johnson is in there ahead of Robshaw on current form. Same goes for Dickson ahead of Care. Quins are struggling at the mo, and I think Robshaw and Care need to get to grips with their club rugby first and re-gain some confidence there. Lawes and Morgan on the bench gives you options for the second and back row, especially with Billy V’s newfound ability to play at 6 if necessary. I’ve gone with Ashton ahead of Wade, difficult call but Ashton’s work rate recently just pushes it. Flood and Eastmond on the bench again gives more options. Flood can cover 10, and 12 at a push. Or Farrell can be moved out for Flood, and Eastmond can cover 10, 12, 13 or 15 if he really had to.

    1. Would probably pick that exact squad as well! Potentially picking Robshaw over Johnson and moving Wood back to 6. But I do think Johnson is in better form.

      It is a difficult balance, picking on form but also keep continuity in the squad a team. There a lot of options so good luck to SL on his selection! I change my mind on who I’d start on a daily basis so I hope he is more sure of himself.

      1. It’s a difficult one Johnson over Robshaw or Kvesic. But currently I think Johnson is the most in form of the three. Robshaw is playing in a team that for whatever reason is not functioning to it’s potential, and I think his form is suffering for it, especially as he is the captain!! Kvesic is playing in a team with a very poor front five, and his form has suffered because of this. But Johnson is playing in a team that is on fire, and his form is a major part of that.

  3. No real suprises here – potential to pick both an exicting team or a solid one. Think Goode is fortunate to be in there. Whilst I think he is a class player, he just doesn’t really fit any position properly and there might have been a case for another winger, given how well both Brown and Goode are playing.

    Fraser also unlucky to miss out, fitness couldn’t come quick enough it seems.

    1. Trinder was picked ahead of Burrell (who is in as injury cover for Trinder… weird) for the squad so pretty much between him and Tomkins. I’d say he has a very good chance!

      1. Ah, didn’t pick up on that bit

        Good for him. Always thought he’d be one of those players that inexplicably go below England’s radar.

        Hopefully Daly can force his way in at some point as well.

        Am liking this picking on form idea (within the constraints he has to work with). If Lancaster had been in charge perhaps even JSD may have ended up with a few more caps!

        1. Joseph hasn’t made the squad, he’s staying in the Saxons. Lancaster said at press conference that Trinder has a niggle that ruled him out last weekend, so they’ve added Burrell as cover, and to get him involved with the squad. From the way he was speaking this morning, I would say Trinder has an excellent chance of featuring at some point this Autumn.

          1. Who would you pick at 13? I think Eastmond would be better at 12, but Twelvetrees at the moment is a better option. Eastmond and Tuialgi though…………..? I would go with Tomkins based on form, ability and experience. I know he doesn’t have experience of top level union, but he has had top level experience in league, and this might just help his cause.

            1. Initially I thought Eastmond for 13 but from what I can glean from what Lancaster said, he sees him very much as a 12. If that’s the case then I’d go for Trinder, especially if he’s got 12T inside him. Having said that, I’d be perfectly happy with Tomkins as well.

  4. ‘Stuart Lancaster is hopeful that prop Alex Corbisiero can play a full part in England’s QBE Autumn Internationals’

    Thank fook for that…

  5. Based on that the starting 15 has got to be:

    1. Corbs
    2. Youngs
    3. Vunipola
    4. Parking
    5. Lauchbury
    6. Wood
    7. Robshaw (c)
    8. Morgan
    9. Care
    10. Farrell
    11. Yarde
    12. 36
    13. Eastmond
    14. Ashton
    15. Foden

    It’s a strong, technically proficient pack that are only going to go forward at scrum time and do the basics right in terms of line out, winning possession etc. A traditional 10 that can kick and tackle, with 36 and Eastmond outside for a bit of guile and ‘pizazz’. Whilst Ashton on the wing will really benefit in attack by having Foden to run counter attacking lines off.

    A solid dependable line up I think!

      1. Well in that case I’d have to pick Cole I suppose. He probably offers a bit more groundwork than Vunipola, but I don’t think Marko can be beaten on scrummaging and tackling.

        1. Mako’s strong points definitely don’t include scrummaging! And Cole is strong in that area. Vunipola has impressive hands a good tackle rate. Also a pointless comparison because they play in different positions.

  6. Anyone hear Stuart Barnes comment on the squad selection? Interesting comment on the captaincy issue: ‘Croft’s a better player than Wood so Lancaster shouldn’t pick Wood as captain’.

    Brave statement Mr Barnes.

    1. Another Stuart Barnes outpouring of largely negative comments that he would never have the courage to say to the players faces. I can’t say I really followed his logic on nominating Hartley for captain, not many would pick Hartley ahead of Youngs at the moment:
      – You can’t go for Wood because someone who is out for a season may come back from a serious injury and may prove to be a better player?
      – But you can go for Hartley, because by 2015 he may have become the best player in his position?

      Needs to stick to what he as best at …. hindsight!

    2. You should always take what Barnes says with a pinch of salt! The guy changes his mind weekly. Watch Wood play well this week and then be our best player in his eyes.

      Taking his side slightly, I do think Croft is world class. For me though, our best back row would be 6. Croft, 7. Wood and 8. Vunipola.

      Wood or Parling for the captaincy. Both great leaders. Both must be in the team if fit.

      1. We have no idea if Croft will ever fully recover from an injury of this magnitude, even if he does my issue with him remains that it’s difficult to balance a back row when he’s included.

        Or putting it another way when was the last time an England backrow worked really well as a unit when he was in it? Possibly Paris 2012, but the best England back row (and Lions) performances have been without him.

        1. To be fair to Croft he has pretty much, bar the Lions tour, been out since the game in Paris 2012.

          I do agree that the balance with his is difficult; but he is just too good to leave out! England don’t have many players that have been on two Lions tours, or are in the same class bracket as Croft, so it makes it difficult to leave him out.

          He does have to cover from this injury first though, so let’s hope he gets back ok and then this is a good problem to have!

          In the mean time, Hartley shouldn’t be captain anyway. I like Hartley and would start him, but he can’t be the England captain after the issues he has had.

  7. Would have preferred May for Goode. I don’t think Goode deserves to keep his place, good player but we’ve seen enough to know he lacks the pace and power required to be an international fullback.

    Aside from that I think it’s fair enough. Surprised that Burrell is injury cover for Trinder, but maybe this is just a way of getting both of them into the training camp.

    Really hoping Corbs is fit, starting to know how it feels to be Welsh when Adam Jones gets an injury.

  8. I think Youngs is playing better than Hartley, or at the very least was better head to head in the derby. Also his time in aus will have improved him no end. He’s 1st choice. Burrell playing well, and if he keeps on going can be a real presence for saints and england.

  9. I think Billy V HAS to play – he gives us that go fwd that we’ll miss with Manu’s absence. Not sure why everyone is picking Ben Youngs. I think he’s a fine player (and HATE Care) – but he has not been good this season. Leicester seem to look a lot better whenever Youngs is taken off and Mele comes on.

  10. Given injuries this is actually a pretty exciting squad with the opportunity for a few fringe players to really put their hands up. Looks like Corbisero will struggle for the Australia game so, that being the case, I would probably start with the following team:

    1. M. Vunipola
    2. D. Hartley
    3. D. Cole
    4. G. Parling
    5. J. Launchbury
    6. T. Wood
    7. C. Robshaw
    8. B. Morgan

    9. B. Youngs
    10. O. Farrell
    11. M. Yarde
    12. B. Twelvetrees
    13. J. Tomkins
    14. C. Ashton
    15. B. Foden

    16. T. Youngs
    17. J. Marler
    18. D. Wilson
    19. D. Attwood
    20. B. Vunipola
    21. D. Care
    22. F. Burns
    23. K. Eastmond

    B. Morgan should get a chance for the first match to show what he can do (as we all know) behind a strong pack but if he doesn’t show his form of old then B. Vunipola will be a very immediate replacement.

    Floods form is actually better than that of Fredie Burns at the moment but I can’t help think his time is coming to a close and Burns should again be given the chance to hold the replacements spot and come on to up the games tempo in the final third.

    Dickson is pushing hard with his current form but he doesn’t have the inherent x-factor of Youngs and Care despite form and I believe these two are our 1nd and 2nd pick for 2015 so let’s give them both as much game time as possible.

    Finally, Ashton’s resurgence in a dominant Saracens side earns him the 14 spot ahead of Wade. Still slightly concerned about his defence though which was a factor in placing Tomkins ahead of an impressive Trinder at 13. Note also to Hartley who features ahead of Youngs at hooker to help compensate for Vunipola’s slightly weaker scrum pedigree. I would reverse this and start with Youngs when Corbisero returns.

    1. Think Mako is going pretty well in the scrum under the new rules. The worst part of his scrummaging was the hit, he wasn’t that fast across the gap and didn’t get a good position. Now it’s more about the technique and raw strength after the hit he seems to be prospering.

      Also think the new rules favour shorter front rows, e.g. Saints last season would hit high and power through and drive up (so Hartley standing up was a common sight). Youngs got the better of him recently so I’m not convinced Hartley brings more to the scrum than Youngs.

  11. Very exciting squad,

    However we have seen a very exciting squad for a while now, I would like some decisions to be made on the world cup team, there needs to be a core of 10 players with 30 plus caps at least. we have to choose these guys now and they should play every match apart from injuries.

    Those 10 guys

    Corbs, Cole, Parling, Woods, B Youngs, farrell, 12tress, Tuillagi, Ashton, Foden

    I know that the position of some of these players is not certain at the moment and a couple have not got that much experience, but we need a core of guys who know they are picked every game, right or wrong. England need to stop experimentimg so often so much.

    Against oz I would add:
    T Youngs
    B vunipolu
    Trinder (manu is injured)

    1. Not a shock, given the prognosis a couple of weeks ago, but a massive loss.

      Can’t say I’m as confident as you on getting the result though as:
      – No ‘hit out’ game against someone like a Fiji, so this is first game together with new combinations and I think it will show.
      – I can’t make a compelling case for any of the probable English backs being better than their probable opposite number and I’m not convinced we will be completely dominant upfront either.

      Hope I’ve got it completely wrong!

  12. England 1st XV vs Australia

    1. Mako Vunipola
    2. Tom Young’s
    3. Dan Cole
    4. Coutney Lawes
    5. Geoff Parking
    6. Tom Wood
    7. Chris Robshaw (c)
    8. Billy Vunipola
    9. Lee Dickson
    10. Owen Farrell
    11. Marland Yards
    12. Billy Twelvetrees
    13. Joel Tompkins
    14. Chris Ashton
    15. Mike Brown

    16. Dylan Hartly
    17. David Wilson
    18. Joe Marker
    19. Joe Launchbury
    20. Matt Kvesic/Ben Morgan
    21. Ben Young’s
    22. Toby Flood
    23. Luther Burrell

    1. I would be surprised if Vunipola and Youngs play together. I think he will either go Marler/ Youngs or Vunipola/Hartley.

      The Lions showed in the summer that scrum time against Australia is vital – Vunipola and Youngs aren’t the best scrummaging unit. I know that both have been better under the new rules but I’d prefer the grunt of Hartley starting, like Hibbard did in the last test.

      I’d go:
      1. Mako Vunipola
      2. Dylan Hartley
      3. Dan Cole
      4. Joe Launchbury
      5. Geoff Parling
      6. Tom Wood
      7. Chris Robshaw
      8. Billy Vunipola
      9. Ben Youngs
      10. Owen Farrell
      11. Marland Yarde
      12. Billy Twelvetrees
      13. Joel Tompkins
      14. Chris Ashton
      15. Ben Foden

      16. Tom Youngs
      17. Joe Marler
      18. David Wilson
      19. Counrtney Lawes
      20. Ben Morgan
      21. Lee Dickson
      22. Toby Flood
      23. Kyle Eastmond

  13. I am less than convinced that Billy Vunipola is the right choice at 8. To me he does not have the skill set necessary for a test no. 8. It’s one thing being strong in the carry but without anything else you may as well telegraph everything you do. Englands cupboard in at 8 is a little bare at the moment. Flood also has never been and is not test material – won’t play badly but his best is simply not good enough at the higher level.

  14. Agree on the 8 issue, Vunipolo isn’t it at the moment, however he has the physical abilities to become an international 8, as have few option then we have to give him the chanceS to develop.

    I’m worried about our scrum Cole is ok but not great, Youngs is amazing but he isn’t a scrummager he needs 2 good props beside him. When Corbs is out I would go with Hartley even though I prefer Youngs. But the props cupboard is not full to say the least.

    I would play lawes to give more push in the scrum. I want to know what happened to Mullen. Webber offers more in the scrum as well.

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