England squad for autumn internationals announced

Ugo MonyeEngland coach Stuart Lancaster unveiled his 32-man squad for the autumn internationals on Thursday with Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers) and James Haskell (London Wasps) all promoted from the England Saxons as injury replacements for Alex Corbisiero, Ben Foden, Rob Webber and Tom Croft respectively.

Northampton duo Tom Wood and Courtney Lawes also return to the fold after missing the summer tour to South Africa through injury.

The squad will meet at St George’s Park, Burton on Sunday as they prepare to tackle Fiji, Australia, South Africa and world champions New Zealand at Twickenham throughout November.

England rose“As a coaching team we can’t wait to go into camp and get the guys focused on what will be a massive challenge in the QBE Internationals – Fiji and then the three major Southern Hemisphere teams in successive weeks,” Lancaster said.

Monye and Haskell have both turned out for England before, winning 13 and 39 caps respectively, but Youngs and New Zealand-born Vunipola, son of former Tonga captain Fe’ao Vunipola, will both be hoping to get their first taste of international rugby.

“It’s great to be able to give Mako a chance in the squad,” Lancaster added. “He has come through our age grade sides and made a real impact at Saracens.

“Likewise Tom Youngs, who was with us on tour in South Africa, and we know what James Haskell and Ugo Monye are capable of if they get their opportunity.”

What are your thoughts on the squad and who was unlucky to miss out?

England squad

Mouritz Botha (Saracens)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
James Haskell (London Wasps)
Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby)
Tom Palmer (London Wasps)
Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers)
David Wilson (Bath Rugby)
Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

BACKS (15)
Anthony Allen (Leicester Tigers)
Chris Ashton (Saracens)
Brad Barritt (Saracens)
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
Alex Goode (Saracens)
Jonathan Joseph (London Irish)
Ugo Monye (Harlequins)
Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby)
Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

69 thoughts on “England squad for autumn internationals announced

  1. The only selection I can’t understand is Dowson. I assume it’s because he can play flanker or 8, but would still rather have Fearns in there (well, Armitage ideally, but given the stance on players based abroad that was never going to happen).

    1. Agreed there. Don’t understand Dowson’s inclusion either. I would rather see Billy Vunipola in the team instead of Dowson. Why do we need Dowson anyway. Surely with Johnson, Wood, Robshaw, Lawes, Haskell, Waldrom and Morgan there is enough back row cover?

  2. Yes I can’t see anyone I would want to leave out. But I feel for Wade. He was in our starting line up on here and he isn’t even in the squad. Also, I thought he may give Joe Launchbury a chance, he has been brilliant this year!

    Does having six centres but only three wingers look strange to anyone? Are we lacking in the wing area? Wade? Eastwood?

    I can understand the selections but it is pretty much a safe pick all round.

    1. Yeah – I was hoping one (or more) of Wade, Eastmond and Burns were going to be shock picks in this squad. As it stands, the only real “surprise” was Vunipola, and that was leaked a week ago!

      Still, really can’t complain – it’s a strong squad, and if they gel we could be looking at some decent results.

      1. Yes I feel for Burns as well.

        Vunipola isn’t even really a surprise. Based upon this squad I assume if he could have picked a more boring and reliable prop he would have done.

        There is a lot of young players that I thought would be given a chance.

        Every time I look at the squad I become more disappointed.

  3. A bit surprised to be honest. Monye is not good enough to be there, even as a quins fan I’d say that Tom Williams is a better player than Monye, let alone all the other wings out there. (Although Monye does fit better into Lancaster’s way of thinking)

    But Armitage should be there. I’d put Joe Gray over Youngs as well. Even so, it’s pretty predictable… it’ll be interesting to see who the team for the first test is, that’s the important one.

    1. Bit harsh on Ugo there I think. Toms all round game is probably better, but I think Ugo possibly offers England a different dynamic with his kick chasing ability. Maybe it’s his understanding with Care/Brown/Evans but he is always on point.

      That area is where England severely lacked last year. Hoof downfield and no one chased, and we suffered for it.

      1. Good point, I hadn’t thought about that. England really do need a player like that, although if that’s all Monye’s included for I reckon it would be better to tell some of the other wings to chase kicks.

        1. I think the point is he does it so well – I’ve only seen a few Quins games this season, but he regularly wins either the ball, or penalties, off restarts. I think that’s natural ability as much as coaching.

  4. I seriously think the stance with selecting players from abroad needs re-evaluating. I know it is turning into a bit of a bandwagon, but Steffon Armitage has been an immense presence for Toulon this season and it’s criminal that he isn’t being rewarded for it.

    Another player who I think is dreadfully unfortunate to miss out is Freddie Burns. Maybe Lancaster is hoping to blood him during the Six Nations because, given his form recently, he looks like a promising one for the future. Anyone care to name a starting 15?

    1. Cole
    2. Hartley
    3. Marler
    4. Parling
    5. Lawes
    6. Johnson
    7. Robshaw
    8. Morgan
    9. Care
    10. Flood
    11. Sharples
    12. Tuilagi
    13. Josephs
    14. Ashton
    15. Brown

    Not sure about some of the combinations but what do you think?

    1. I posted my starting XV on a forum not long ago – it’s really similar to yours:

      Brown; Ashton, Joseph, Tuilagi, Monye; Flood, Care;
      Marler, Hartley, Cole, Lawes, Parling, Wood, Robshaw, Morgan;

      You’ve got Marler and Cole the wrong way round. ;-)

      1. Just testing. I’m more familiar with the piano players than the piano movers!

        Tough call between Wood and Johnson. To be honest, if Armitage was included there would be no argument.

    2. might cause some consternation with this but I’d start with Goode, it provides the benefit of a potential 2nd receiver without having to play farrel. the options on either side of a scrum become a lot more daunting if in actuality the fullback you see lining up against you has the ball skills of a 10.
      and i know you shouldn’t select a player on 1 action but that mark he called whilst sliding along the floor in saffa was epic

    3. might cause some consternation with this but I’d start with Goode, it provides the benefit of a potential 2nd receiver without having to play farrel. the options on either side of a scrum become a lot more daunting if in actuality the fullback you see lining up against you has the ball skills of a 10.
      and i know you shouldn’t select a player on 1 action but that mark he called whilst sliding along the floor in south africa

  5. All in all this is a good group of players. I am a little disappointed however that Freddie Burns has not been included. What it means that we only have two fly halves in the squad (three if he’s including Goode as a spare). Well based on the players on the list this would be my team for the Fiji game.
    1. Marler
    2. Hartley
    3. Cole
    4. Parling
    5. Lawes
    6. Johnson
    7. Robshaw (c)
    8. Morgan
    9. Care
    10. Flood
    11. Monye
    12. Barritt
    13. Tuilagi
    14. Ashton
    15. Brown

    16. T. Youngs
    17. Vunipola
    18. Wilson
    19. Botha
    20. Wood
    21. Care
    22. Farrell
    23. Goode

    I’ve put 23 although I’m not sure it applies for international matches yet?

        1. Yeah I did mean Youngs on the bench. I couldn’t make up my mind who should start. But gave Care the benefit of the doubt after starting the season so well for Quins.

    1. how about:
      1. Marler
      2. Hartley
      3. Cole
      4. Parling
      5. Lawes
      6. Haskell
      7. Robshaw
      8. Morgan

      9. Care
      10. Flood
      11. Tuilagi
      12. Barritt
      13. Joseph
      14. Ashton
      15. Goode

      as a starting line up,
      I have put tuilagi on the wing because he is such a threat he has to be in the team and joesph has shown some dangerous form of late. But, Barritt’s attacking game has improved and in the same way that Tindall did, he leads the defence (yes argue about tinds go on but we were a lot more organised with him playing, check the stats for that) and a structured defence is so important against these teams.
      Goode as I have said elsewhere adds another attacking threat because of his ability to move in at 10 and allow flood to play wider where his inside soft hands and reach through and offload would be all the more dangerous. added to that goode is very good under the high ball and is in his defence a very good counter attacking full back. I feel harsh on Brown but goode added threat as a 2nd 10 gives him the jersey for me

  6. SL starting to worry me now. Very conservative selection. Its outrageous that he won’t include Easter due to age concerns for 2015, yet why have Botha, Dowson or Waldron in the squad? None are world class or one for the future. Why not throw launchbury or a genuine open side like kvesic in for game time?
    Phil Dowson must be paying him or something, saying he’s part of the leadership group does not warrant his inclusion. If he’s not playing good enough and he’s too old to develop, he shouldn’t go.
    Losing faith, never thought I’d see such a conservative selection. I don’t want England to play like sarries used to before Farrell left. Even they have looked a touch more exciting since he left. For being the attacking lynch pin he was in his glittering playing career, I’ve yet to be impressed with any of his attacking game plans.

    1. Completely agree with that… it’s almost as if Lancaster picked his players on the form they were in when his tenure started and has just continued with the same team. If Youngs plays over Care, Farrell over Flood, or Botha over Lawes, then that’d result in me losing all my faith…

      But let’s not think about it unless it happens, eh?

    2. James with the exception of Easter, Burns and Armitage the rest of this squad almost picks itself on form there’s taking a risk and being reckless! Who else would you have in there that isn’t currently?

  7. So another Island Nationer has been included in the England squad. Would Nick Wood not have been a better choice???

    Why has Freddie Burns not been selected? He has more points than Farrell or Flood.

    Monye chosen over Wade? A bit predictable there from Lancaster.
    England players are not picked on performance, they are picked if there face fits, which is just wrong.

    This is not really a squad that is going to set the world on fire IMO.

    And yes I am a Gloucseter fan :-P

    1. Another Island nationer that was too young to remember any of his time living in his supposed “real” home?

      Again you have to take this on a case by case basis. Search him up on youtube, and don’t expect to hear a Tongan/Kiwi accent.

      And no need to worry, his selection over Wood is justified, his form has been outstanding.

  8. whats the general view on Parling? any tigers fans here? im not , but wondered whether he is a test lock in terms of size, when you consider other nations jumbo tight 5s.

    1. His work rate around the pitch is good, and runs the line out better than any of the other options. Although I thought George Robson might make the squad?

  9. Disappointed not to see Burns there. The Fiji game would have been the perfect chance to blood him and he is a genuine 10 rather than Farrell or Goode. Also hoping that with Flood being away from Leicester Ford gets a chance to shine and maybe get a look in next year. Also think it’s madness to not have Armitage there, they’ve got to sort that out fast!

    Grumble over happy with the rest of the selections. Wonder if Lancaster will go with his best possible team against Fiji or try a few new combos?

  10. Botha, Dowson, Wilson, Allen and Turner Hall are all slightly marginal picks IMO, but can’t ague with the rest of it, other than WHERE is Freddie?

    I know this is just a rehash of the squad announced before the season, and therefore SL’s hands may be tied, but why pick the squad that long ago, and therefore not be able to take AP form into account. I guess it has something to do with the player agreement with the clubs. I would have thought that this needs looking at again, particularly as so many managers seem to be putting their own players forward for selection! Something for Rob Andrew to look at?!

    I think that most of the first team picks itself, with the exception of the centres. Who to partner with Tuilagi and where to play him? I think SL will go with the tried and tested so Barritt it is then! To be fair he’s had quite a decent start to the season and is the man in possession.

    1. That’s a really good point, I totally forgot that – you can only make a handful of changes to the existing EPS, with extra call-ups for either retirements or injuries.

      1. Just never been a fan. Not convinced he does anything around the pitch and have it in my head that he will give away penalties. I might be being unfair on him, but that’s my perception.

        1. I’m a Bath supporter, and to be honest I agree. Although I must admit he has been better this season, he’s gone on a few marauding runs, but he’s no Cole.

  11. Both our starting front row and their replacements I am very happy with. A real strength, loads of potential to improve too!

    I would have much preferred it if Carl Fearns was brought in instead of Haskell. I am a fan of both players, however Fearns has much better hands and is more physical in defence and Haskell has been in poor form.
    Am just as mystified as anyone else as to why Dowson is there.

    I would have also liked to have had Burns in, preferably instead of JTH.
    At the beggining of the season I would have said that Wade should be included, but so far this season he seems to have been even more flakey in defense. I do think that if Eastmond Wade, Burns et al. continue to show as much talent as they appear to all have throughout the club seasons between now and the six nations it would be criminal not to include them.

    1. I would probably have Fearns over Dowson; Haskell has to be in.

      SL’s comments about him this morning were very positive, and I think that we may see him on the bench. He is very well respected in the squad and can cover all three back row positions which is a huge positive for a back row sub.

      I also didn’t realise he made 26 tackles in the last SA match! Pretty impressive!

      1. yeah there is no doubt that haskell has become better at tackling since he went to NZ he hits so much lower now. a number of times there were tap and goes from saffa in the 3rd test which went no where because they ran into Haskell, the same has to be said for the AP so far

  12. Can’t wait to see us try and play Farrell’s super safe kick chase game plan. I bet its giving Israel dagg and co nightmares… of course we all know the nz back three would have a wet dream if we delivered the ball to them the way our kicking game feeds other back threes.
    I’m probably more excited to see what George ford does with some decent game time at Leicester.

    1. Farrell’s comments on bbc website says to me that although they don’t divide as a coaching team, he is quite clear on what his job is within the team. To get the ball back so we can score tries.

      “Within the group, we don’t divide,” says Farrell, at 37 the youngest of the four. “The game is a whole game; you defend for a reason, to get the ball back so you can score a try. Everything is connected, and we’re like that as a coaching team.
      Catt agrees. “We all have our own ideas, it’s how we put them together. We then sell it to the players and make sure they’re confident we’re giving them the right messages. The more we challenge and support each other the better chance we have.”

  13. So were Lancaster’s hands tied by the previously selected EPS squad or is this just a worryingly conservative selection?

    Cannot understand how you can pick Dowson, Botha and Waldrom but leave out the form number 8 in the country because he is too old?

    Also, Joe Gray must be wondering if he has to change his name to Youngs to get into the squad

  14. I don’t want to cause outrage but looking at the selection I wouldn’t be very surprised if we saw barrit and joseph in midfield with tuilagi on the wing. I’m not saying it should happen but I am saying it definitely could happen

    1. I would be very disappointed with the selection of Tuilagi on the wing. I think Monye will start.

      1. Marler
      2. Hartley (c)
      3. Cole
      4. Lawes
      5. Parling
      6. Wood
      7. Robshaw
      8. Morgan
      9. Care
      10. Flood
      11. Monye
      12. Barritt
      13. Tuilagi
      14. Ashton
      15. Brown

      16. Youngs
      17. Vunipola
      18. Wilson
      19. Palmer
      20. Haskell
      21. Youngs
      22. Goode
      23. Joseph

  15. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some awful line ups. It would take the biscuit of we had a back row of has, Dowson and Waldron. Same with a back line that has Farrell and Barrett in.
    I’d expect, as most others do, to see brad and manu starting in the centres with JJ coming to 13 and manu moving inside if the wheels haven’t fallen off after half time.

  16. Agree with much of the sentiments it seems pretty conservative. Was Lancaster limited in how many players he could change?

    Burns is my biggest disappointment. England (and Sarries) lose all attacking direction with Farrell at 10.

    Armitage wouldn’t ever be in the EPS because its an agreement with the premiership clubs, so even if Lancaster is planning to start him (not that i think he will) he wouldn’t be in this squad.

    1. From the EPS that was named in January, he could only change the injured players, apparently – that’s it.

      1. Ah OK it seems quite a limiting system (better than what they had before) but still quite restricting.

  17. Dowson, Botha and Waldrom were all in the EPS announced earlier in the year, and to my understanding unless a player is injured, retired etc, they cannot be replaced? What it means is that the three named cannot be removed for these reasons.
    Personally I would rather have Waldrom than Easter. A more dynamic runner, and can hold the ball at the base just as well as Easter. Botha’s form has dropped slightly, but I suspect Lawes will get his spot anyway. And Dowson, never really understood why he was in there before.

    1. on the holding the ball at the base so well, he has been moved to blindside on attacking scrums to put crane there for the ball control. is that a comment on crane’s awesome footwork or Waldrom’s not so great?

  18. Dissapointment is definitely the word. When is Lancaster going to develop some younger players? The upcoming test would be a great environment for Wade, Burns, Launchbury, Kvesic etc. Also Foden is a massive loss, our backline doesn’t look the same with out him, hoping he has a quick recovery.

    Really think that most of our backs aren’t world class – Anthony Allen and Jordan Turner Hall shouldn’t be anywhere near an England shirt IMO

    1. Experimenting against Fiji could end in disaster, at their best, Fiji have beaten Wales and nearly took down SA in 2007.

      We need to beat FIji first, forget about experimenting.

      Agree that Foden is a massive loss, hes one of my 1st names on the team sheet.

      Poepole have asked for Tuilagi on the wing – not a good idea. he doesnt play there for Leicester and more importantly, doesnt have a kicking game , whcih modern wingers must have.

      he belongs in the centres with Jospeh who did not let himself down in SA, and has huge potential.

      @ 9&10 – if you are playing flood, you have to play Youngs, 1) because they play every week together 2) at his best hes simply better than Care – and hes getting back to his best.

      We have a strong front row.

      my concern is our locks. we need to get some size in there. NZ, Fiji, SA have giant locks who can all play – Bekker, Ezthbeth, Retallick etc – these guys are huge and can jump in the lineout. 18st+ and 6′ 7+.

      back row is a difficult one, but Robshaw can fill the Richie Mccaw role in terms of leadership,carrying , tackling and on the floor. the latter element he is underrated at.

      Tom johnson has an unbelievable engine and against Clermont and Leinster looked classy, no blind side is playing better.

      No 8? Morgan is only 23 and i think given time will be quality, although easter (cant believe im saying this) is playing well in Europe.

      other options @ 8? and i dont mean Waldrom – he has a habit of going missing mentally in big games.

      bring on these autumn tests!!!!

      1. Agree with you on the second row pairing. Parling has a great engine, lineout skills and very industrious but he was totally outmatched physically against the Boks. Lawes lineout work seems to be going really well for Saints at the moment, so I wonder if we could go with a Lawes and Palmer combo against Fiji (even without a Wood option) and have Parling on the bench. If a Hartley/Lawes axis can work for Saints why not England?

      2. that fiji team was 5 years ago. a lot of retired people from that team, and they aren’t the threat that samoa are but i take your point. don’t forget though that on their home turf scotland beat them fairly easily.
        and haskell can play 8 can’t he so I’d say there is you extra 8 cover.

      3. 1. Graham Rowntree
        2. George Chuter
        3. Andrew Sheridan
        4. Danny Grewcock
        5. Steve Borthwick
        6. Joe Worsely
        7. Lewis Moody
        8. Laurence Dalagllio
        9. Matt Dawson
        10. Andy Goode
        11. Ben Cohen
        12. Jean de Villiers
        13. Mike Tindall
        14. Austin Healy
        15. Tom Voyce

        If these 15 guys are available I honestly think they’re our best chance of winning, best squad we’ve had in a while

    2. He wasn’t allowed to make that many changes. Of the squad announced in January, he could only replace injured or retired players – that’s why players like Dowson and JTH are still there, otherwise I don’t think they would be.

    3. Don’t mean to patronise, but have you read any of the previous posts. He could only change injured players or players who have retired. So he couldn’t put any of those players in the EPS. But he has put Vunipola in, and Tom Youngs who are still young.

  19. I’ve been looking forward to this but am disappointed frankly.It seems that SL is short on ideas-aren’t we building towards a world cup? This squad looks too dependable as opposed to exciting and futuristic.No Burns,Launchbury or Kvesic? But plenty of players who definately won’t see the WC or who will never really make the step up from club level. And whats SL’s fascination with Owen Farrel? If the coach has any imagination beyond this then he lacks the spine to prove it.

  20. Agree Jimmy.

    Also, is Corbs injured, or dropped?

    I’d go:

    1. Marler
    2. Hartley
    3. Cole
    4. Lawes
    5. Parling
    6. Johnson
    7. Robshaw
    8. Morgan
    9. Youngs
    10. Flood
    11. Monye
    12. Barrit
    13. Tuilagi
    14. Ashton
    15. Goode.

  21. Not really surprised by the selection, disapointed that Burns isnt being given a shot, but has been previously said it seems that Lancaster’s hands were tied. Definetly reckon Care should start, has been on great form, and I don’t think it is true that Flood can only play with Youngs.

    Anyone know who is broadcasting these matches?

  22. I echo most comments already made really. It is a conservative selection from Lancaster following the radical changes he made when he first came into office. I think he is practising what he preaches though by trying to form a core squad that stays together to gain experience without too much disruption. That being said, I am really disappointed to see form players such as Stefon Armitage, Freddie Burns, Christian Wade and George Robson miss out. They would have really strengthened the squad without disrupting the ‘1st Team Core’ too much. One more last thing – he needs to rethink his policy on the non-selection of French based players as there is too much talent to overlook the likes of Armitage.

  23. My starting team from this squad would be:

    1. J. Marler
    2. D. Hartley
    3. D. Cole
    4. C. Lawes
    5. G. Parling
    6. T. Johnson
    7. C. Robshaw
    8. B. Morgan

    9. D. Care
    10. T. Flood
    11. U. Monye
    12. B. Barritt
    13. M. Tuilagi
    14. C. Ashton
    15. M. Brown

    16. M. Vunipola
    17. D. Wilson
    18. T. Youngs
    19. T. Palmer
    20. T. Wood
    21. B. Youngs
    22. O. Farrell
    23. A. Goode

    Very tempted to swap Jonathan Joseph in for Owen Farrell on the bench and use Alex Goode as fly half cover but I think it would be too much of a gamble in an international if Flood were to get injured. So Farrell gets the nod because he covers 10 and both centres.

  24. Feel sorry for Burns I think he mirits a chance, at least get him involved so he gets a feel for the setup.

    But as said there were a lot of changes last year, I think they want to stabalise things, I agree.

    Still a young team, though the same problems exist, the middfield will not ripp anone apart to say the least, no real openside flanker, all limiting our game.

    Burns and Twelvetrees have to be in the mox during the 6N, probably better for them that way

  25. Same old pragmatic selection. Are we looking to do well in the World cup, or
    are we looking to win it.This guarded selective approach does nothing for the future. Farrell is too slow (and runs with the confidence of someone who is too slow). Toby is getting older and slower.Burns is an obvious choice.Play him now and he’ll have 30 caps buy the world cup.Lancaster is looking to the future by ignoring Easter’s form and playing Morgan. Why not the same approach with the 10 shirt.–Ditto Jonathan Joseph,Christian Wade,

    1. For the last time, he could only bring in players to replace those retired or injured. Expect some new blood when the EPS is announced in January.

  26. ultimate team without injury:

    1 corbisiero
    2 hartley
    3 cole
    4 borthwick
    5 robson
    6 croft
    7 robshaw
    8 waldrom
    9 care
    10 burns
    11 foden
    12 goode
    13 tualagi
    14 ashton
    15 brown

    16 t youngs
    17 marler
    18 lawes
    19 haskell
    20 johnson
    21 b youngs
    22 cipriani
    23 joseph

  27. Dear Geat.I’m talking about wholesale structural change, putting England and its future success first.This will mean changing the club/National set up for good because it does not work. Any successful organisation can not afford to stand still.To reiterate-if you keep doing what you are doing ,you will keep getting what you are getting.

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