England squad update for South Africa tour

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones

England head coach Eddie Jones has finalised selection ahead of England’s tour to South Africa next month. The updated 34-man squad has convened at Pennyhill Park today to begin their final preparations before flying to South Africa on Saturday for the three Test series.

There are three changes to the squad. Piers Francis (Northampton Saints), Nathan Hughes (Wasps) and Jason Woodward (Gloucester Rugby) are included following the withdrawal of Cameron Redpath (knee), Ben Te’o (small repair to quad muscle) and Jack Willis (knee).

England squad for South Africa Tour
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Danny Cipriani (Wasps)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
Elliot Daly (Wasps)
Ben Earl (Saracens) *
Nathan Earle (Saracens) *
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
Piers Francis (Northampton Saints)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs) *
Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
Nick Isiekwe (Saracens)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Alex Lozowski (Saracens)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Dan Robson (Wasps) *
Brad Shields (Hurricanes/ Wasps) *
Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks)
Ben Spencer (Saracens) *
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)
Mark Wilson (Newcastle)
Jason Woodward (Gloucester Rugby) *
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Uncapped *

Not available for selection
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Jack Clifford (Harlequins)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
James Haskell (Wasps)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Alex Lewington (London Irish)
Harry Mallinder (Northampton Saints)
Joe Marchant (Harlequins)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Beno Obano (Bath Rugby)
Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks)
Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby)
Will Spencer (Worcester Warriors)
Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)
Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)
Jack Willis (Wasps)

14 thoughts on “England squad update for South Africa tour

  1. Over the moon about Woodward but Robshaw’s performance last weekend was enough to drop him from the squad entirely in my opinion. Hughes is not fit would have rather had Morgan!




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  2. So no out and out centre in the squad. This means we will be playing 3 fly halves against the springboks. I think we may left wanting physically. I also agree on Robshaw, I have always been a fan but I now think he’s finished at international level.




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    1. A centre pairing of Farrell and Daly would not be short of physicality. None of the full time centres have really stepped up and made themselves automatic choices this season. What worries me is that we are further from having a clear idea of a starting fifteen than we were a year ago. Re Robshaw, he looks completely knackered and should have been given the summer off. I have huge respect for his spirit and hope that he might come again. After all, even EJ wrote him off after the 2015 world cup and he had the character to fight his way back.




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  3. Certainly concerning to see a lack of physicality in the squad. A Farrell/Lozowski partnership would be great but I would at least prefer a Te’o esc option from the bench.

    I would still like to see Lozowski in that 13 shirt. He has become the player I hoped Slade would be in that shirt. Great playmaker, hits hard but also is offering a serious running threat as well.




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    1. I would second that. He was one who stood out most for me in the final. Good passing, very quick and deceptively strong in defence. Smashed Mitch Lees back to name one instance.
      Slade again just seems to be dipping in and out of form. Some great moments but equally anonymous other times.
      Would now like to see Cipriani-Farrell-Daly in the midfield though, with Robson or Spencer at SH. Youngs is a known quantity, the “back-ups” need to get some test match exposure quickly before the WC is too close.
      Also not sure why Nowell is down as unavailable, has played the last few weeks and has to be fitter than Hughes. Can also cover centre.




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      1. “Would now like to see Cipriani-Farrell-Daly in the midfield though, with Robson or Spencer at SH.”

        I would bloody love to see that!
        Agree on Nowell too, I actually think England play better when he’s around – phenomenal workrate and link play. If available, he’d be one of the first names on the team-sheet for me.




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  4. Does anyone else think Eddie is trading on the “look at how many players are unavailable” line as his defence if we get a stuffing? He seems increasingly like a drowning man searching desperately for a life raft to me.
    It can’t be denied that we are having terrible luck with injuries but some of his selection are plain baffling. Like others ,i think we’ll get steamrollered at the breakdown and the centres are just too lightweight and all of a piece to withstand heavy traffic. Begs the question where do we go from here?




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  5. I think this tour is a real cross road for England, if we loose 2-1 I think we could bounce back. But 3-0 and I just can’t see us aging the momentum and confidence in time to be a force at the WC. In terms of the balance of the team back row and centres excluding Billy at 8 and assuming you move Farrel back to 10 , no one player has truly cemented there place. Personally I’d like to see a teo/spade or lowzoski in the centres power + playmaker. And a robshaw/billy/curry back row. Bit of a wild card but I would start genre at loose head as I feel his brutal carrying would help subdue a notoriously physical south African pack as we rely to much on Billy in that department atm. I hope my pessimism is proved misplaced over the coming weeks.




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    1. i agree but equally if we win 1-2 or 0-3 but learn nothing useful it will be just as detrimental to our world cup hopes




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  6. We have to win the first test to rebuild confidence after four straight losses. I would pick the strongest and most experienced fifteen possible:

    1. M. Vunipola
    2. G. George
    3. H. Williams
    4. M. Itoje
    5. J. Launchbury
    6. B. Shields
    7. T. Curry
    8. B. Vunipola

    9. B. Youngs
    10. G. Ford
    11. J. May
    12. O. Farrell
    13. E. Daly
    14. D. Solomona
    15. M. Brown

    16. L. Cowan-Dickie
    17. J. Marker
    18. K. Sinckler
    19. N. Isiekwe
    20. S. Simmonds
    21. D. Robson
    22. D. Cipriani
    23. N. Earle




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    1. A good start to the tour is very important but equally I think England shouldn’t revert back to tried and tested combinations and players who have not performed recently.
      Based on form, I can’t imagine Genge being left out (nor should he be). Marler is a good scrummager but Genge has shown that he can do it all and will bring physicality which will be much needed against the Boks.
      Equally, Brown at full-back would be very disappointing and we would be no closer to finding a FB who truly deserves to start at the WC. Solomona would also worry me on the wing, good going forward but weak defensively. I think though that one of these two will play, and this highlights the lack of strength in EJs squad selection.




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  7. I might put Genge on the bench instead of Marler, but if Mako is on tour surely he plays? I would have Williams in front of Sinkler as the better scrummager but I fear we will get hammered up front regardless. Curry is a good young player but too inexperienced at this level to risk. Shields is clearly not good enough for NZ or he would still be there, and Robshaw has looked burned out and half a yard off the pace for weeks. Young s does not have a quick enough pass to fire a back line. I would start with Robson, Cips, Farrell and Daly as inside backs. No idea about a back three as he has left the best fullback (Goode) and several of the best wingers at home. I have a nasty feeling that by the end of this tour there will still be at least ten places under discussion and that we will go into the World Cup without a settled side.




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  8. My concern is how long before we become England southern em team.
    Not allowing our home grown players to develop is criminal. We have the talent and why do we insist on keeping lumbering 8s/back rowers when we have a lot more mobile players with more all round skills and not just thumpers. going back to southern em, look at the likes of pocock and alike, mobile and affective.




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