England squad for New Zealand announced

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England today announced squads for the four-match tour of New Zealand next month and the game against the Barbarians.

Thirty players will fly to Auckland tomorrow, Tuesday, May 27, and be available for the 1st Test at Eden Park on Saturday, June 7.

A further group will leave on Monday, June 2 following the Aviva Premiership final between Saracens and Northampton Saints (May 31) and the England XV v Barbarians match at Twickenham Stadium (June 1). These players will be named on the morning of Monday, June 2 (BST) following an assessment of both games.

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: “We are excited about the squad we are taking to New Zealand and, while there continues to be challenges in selection, we will be well and truly ready for the 1st Test. It has a been good few days training and great to be able to work with a larger group of players in the lead up to the Barbarians game and the tour.

“With the Barbarians game and the Aviva Premiership final to come we will make our final selection once we know the availability of all players. This group will fly out on the Monday following the Barbarians game.

“As is often the case there are some players unavailable through injury and it is a shame that recently both George Ford (Bath Rugby) and Anthony Allen (Leicester Tigers) have had to withdraw due to shoulder and knee injuries sustained towards the end of the season

“Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby) is being treated for a hamstring injury and will continue his recovery in England before a final decision is made on whether he will join us in New Zealand on the Monday flight post Aviva final and Barbarians game.”

England squad flying to New Zealand on May 27 (arrive May 29)

Loose-head props
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Matt Mullan (London Wasps)

Tight-head props
Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons)
Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks)
David Wilson (Bath Rugby)

Hookers
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Joe Gray (Harlequins)
Dave Ward (Harlequins)
Rob Webber (Bath Rugby)

Locks
Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby)
Joe Launchbury (London Wasps)
Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)
Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers)

Back rows
James Haskell (London Wasps)
Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs)
Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby)
Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)

Scrum halves
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Fly halves
Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby)
Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks)

Centres
Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby)
Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby)
Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby)

Back threes
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)
Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors)
Marland Yarde (London Irish)

England squad for Barbarians game

Loose-head props
Nathan Catt (Bath Rugby)
Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks)

Tight-head props
Will Collier (Harlequins)
Kyle Sinkler (Harlequins)

Hookers
Rob Buchanan (Harlequins)
Tommy Taylor (Sale Sharks)

Locks
Graham Kitchener (Leicester Tigers)
Charlie Matthews (Harlequins)
Michael Paterson (Sale Sharks)

Back rows
Dave Ewers (Exeter Chiefs)
James Gaskell (Sale Sharks)
Jamie Gibson (Leicester Tigers)
Luke Wallace (Harlequins)

Scrum halves
Dan Robson (Gloucester Rugby)
Joe Simpson (London Wasps)

Fly half
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)

Centres
Ollie Devoto (Bath Rugby)
Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)

Back threes
Elliot Daly (London Wasps)
Rob Miller (Sale Sharks)
Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby)
Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby)

England New Zealand tour (all games 1935 NZST/0835 BST)
Saturday, June 7: 1st Test – Eden Park, Auckland
Saturday, June 14: 2nd Test – Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Tuesday, June 17: Crusaders – AMI (Addington) Stadium, Christchurch
Saturday, June 21: 3rd Test – Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

England XV v Barbarians
Sunday, June 1: Twickenham Stadium, 3pm

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

13 thoughts on “England squad for New Zealand announced

  1. A reasonable looking squad for the first Test, given the circumstances, and I’m sure they’ll put up a good fight at least. The real bolters are Kieran-Brookes and Gray, the later having not been mentioned anywhere before selection last week (I remember him being talked up a few years ago though). I’m maybe surprised by Trinder over Joseph, but delighted to see Pennell on the plane.

    The squad for the BaBa’s is as expected – basically the Saxons, but I do wonder who agreed to this game. It’s been known for a while that the Premiership final players won’t be available for the first Test, which is bad enough, but then this game is scheduled for the same weekend, meaning anyone who plays is also not available for the first Test I assume?

    This isn’t a problem if no one from the first squad travelling to NZ gets injured, but what the hell happens, for example, if one of the loose heads or scrum halfs gets injured in training etc? They can’t call on anyone from the Premiership final, or the BaBa’s game, so then what? I don’t think there are many players left in England who haven’t been called up, and certainly no one you’d want to throw into a Test match in NZ. I’m sure I’m being pessimistic, but I really feel for Lancaster and co, who one year out from a World cup have to deal with this fiasco.

    1. Completely agree. It’s not bold, it is reckless to only bring two looseheads and two scrum halves, and also only two wingers.

      Loosehead surprises me the most as I assume there will be 4 in total needed, with the midweek game as well requiring two non-test props I imagine. The fact that Mako is probably out, I can’t see why Nathan Catt wasn’t brought out, with Waller to fly next week. If a loosehead goes down early next week then Waller or Catt will have to come onto the bench having only arrived in the country a couple days before. Same with scrum half- Simpson should have travelled, I think he deserves to be in the squad ahead of Wigglesworth anyway who will probably join up with the squad. There isn’t even the luxury of having Foden as emergency cover. With Watson unavailable for the first test then Rokodoguni should have travelled. If May and Yarde go down, then we will have to move our best player out of position and then put a debutant at full back.

      The Barbarians game is a good opportunity for players to get a game, but Catt, Simpson and Rokodoguni could easily have been replaced by Wood (fit?), Dave Lewis and Tom Varndell. An injury to a LH, 9 or winger could shaft Lancaster.

      1. News just in via Twitter – Catt is flying (has flown?) to NZ with the main England squad, with Fraser Balmain replacing him in the BaaBaas squad.

        1. Although Catt’s covering an injury to Joe Marler; he has a slight hip strain according to the Rugby Paper.

          1. Good decision, although they needed an excuse to correct the oversight. Let’s hope Marler’s injury isn’t too bad.

  2. Well said I reckon Matt.The organisation behind this was motivated by money,as usual.with little thought given to players and playing staff.That’s the RFU for you…

  3. Nice looking team we have for the Barbarians. Whoever is our flanker or 8 is going to have a hard time against Steffon if you ask me. Glad Joseph is made the team he played well against saints before bath self destructed. Not sure about Sharples i don’t really watch that much Gloucester other then to see if burns is playing well.

    1. Steffon isn’t playing for the Baba’s vs England (as he’ll be playing in the Top 14 final). He will be for the World XV a week later though, where it will be very interesting to see how he does against the SA back row.

  4. Was hoping Sinckler and Roko would make the initial touring party. Fingers crossed the group stay healthy (and Webber is fit) so we can still field a competitive 23.

  5. Thomas was able to play either side a while ago, and Cowan – Dickie has only recently shifted to hooker from loosehead.

    Scrum half is a tricky one. Lots of people wondering if Eastmond could manage there, maybe he’s emergency cover.

    Eastmond and 36 cover 10.

    Tuilagi and Eastmond cover wing.

    Far from ideal I agree. But I don’t view this as money saving. I view this as space saving. Lancaster wants to keep as much of the squad open in order to bring more from England after the final. If he takes too many now, he’ll limit his options for after the baabaas/finals. We can’t expect to take a 50 man squad to NZ, it still needs to be small enough for training to be meaningful, and for each player to get some individual time.

      1. He started as a left wing before moving to the centres. I’m not in favour of him moving back there (not much recent experience under a high ball and not much of a kicking game), but he does have premiership experience there.

      2. As pointed out, he’s played there at age grade and premierhsip a bit. He’s been used on the wing by England as well, and trained to also play on the wing in the Italy game in the past 6n.

        He’s not first, second or third choice, but if the faeces hits the fan, he can cover it.

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