Revised England Squad Announced For Six Nations

Martin Johnson has revealed his revised 32-man Elite Player Squad ahead of the 6 Nations tournament that starts on February 6th with the visit of Wales to Twickenham.  As usual here at The Rugby Blog, we’ve got it for you first…



Steffon Armitage
Steve Borthwick
Jordan Crane
Tom Croft
Louis Deacon
Nick Easter
Dylan Hartley
James Haskell
Courtney Lawes
Lee Mears
Lewis Moody
Tim Payne
Simon Shaw
Andrew Sheridan
Steve Thompson
Julian White
David Wilson

Delon Armitage
Matt Banahan
Danny Care
Mark Cueto
Harry Ellis
Toby Flood
Riki Flutey
Ben Foden
Shontayne Hape
Dan Hipkiss
Paul Hodgson
Ugo Monye
Mathew Tait
Jonny Wilkinson

So what do you think of the squad?  Any flare to get excited about?  Will the final starting XV reflect any new additions?  Does it back up attack-coach Brian Smith’s talk of us seeing a noticeable change in outlook?

** Chris Ashton has been added from the Saxons squad as an injury replacement for Phil Vickery

17 thoughts on “Revised England Squad Announced For Six Nations

  1. Shontayne Hape is a decent consideration, Barnesy’ll be happy. Good to see Foden named too, with possibly the inclusion of Ashton. The same old question remains though, how much opportunity will these players get when Johnno comes to name his starting XV? I suspect little but hope for more!

  2. Interesting squad but I agree with Nick, come match day they will all be sent home and the old reliable players will be back on the field.

    Johno will be saying to himself that, the defence was good in the autumn and the return of armitage, fFlutey and Easter will provide extra options in attack.

    After watching Tigers wasps on the weekend one has to ask himself what the hell Payne is doing there.

  3. Has anyone seen much of Hape play? I’ve seen him on a few occasions and thought he did OK but nothing that stood out. They are definitely going to need some more props to cover and hopefully whoever is brought in will leapfrog Payne.

    And even by my admission Simpson-Daniel hasn’t had a great season (although not a terrible one) but surely he’s worth a shot in the Saxons.

  4. Shame to see Shane Geraghty spat out of the squad so quickly.
    Goulding and Cole and Kennedy all unlucky not to be involved in elite squad.

  5. How is Geraghty not in the squad? Thankfully, Andy Goode isn’t either, but it does mean that Jonny and Toby Flood are the only options at 10.

    Interesting to see Crane back in the fold after he was jettisoned fairly quickly in the Autumn, but can’t really think of anyone that should be in ahead of him.

    Nick Kennedy is unlucky to miss out again, and should definitely be in there ahead of Deacon in my view.

  6. Here is the Saxons squad as well:

    David Attwood (Gloucester Rugby)
    Duncan Bell (Bath Rugby)
    George Chuter (Leicester Tigers)
    Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
    Alex Corbisiero (London Irish)
    Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints)
    Ben Kay (Leicester Tigers)
    Nick Kennedy (London Irish)
    Matthew Mullan (Worcester Warriors)
    David Paice (London Irish)
    Tom Rees (London Wasps)
    Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
    Andy Saull (Saracens)
    George Skivington (London Wasps)
    Dan Ward-Smith (London Wasps)
    Rob Webber (London Wasps)
    Nick Wood (Gloucester Rugby)
    Ben Woods (Leicester Tigers)

    Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
    Brad Barritt (Saracens)
    Danny Cipriani (London Wasps
    Shane Geraghty (Northampton Saints)
    Charlie Hodgson (Sale Sharks)
    Stephen Myler (Northampton Saints)
    Olly Morgan (Gloucester Rugby)
    Paul Sackey (London Wasps)
    Joe Simpson (London Wasps)
    David Strettle (Harlequins)
    Dominic Waldouck (London Wasps)
    Richard Wigglesworth (Sale Sharks)
    Mickey Young (Newcastle Falcons)

    Two more backs will also be named in the Saxons on January 25, one to replace Chris Ashton who has been included in the Senior EPS.

    Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers) has been added to the Saxons as a replacement for the injured Joe Simpson (London Wasps).

    Final decisions on replacements for the injured Tom Rees (London Wasps) and Alex Corbisiero (London Irish) will also be made on January 25.

  7. I can live with this squad. Better than I thought. Of course there are always some questions. I was expecting Dan Cole in the Elite Squad and you all know my view on Kennedy vs Deacon. But once again it looks decent but only if he is not releasing all bright prospects the week before the game again…

  8. Kennedy will hopefully take some comfort from the fact that at least he hasn’t got to waste his time with a dysfunctional coaching team before being sent home (not so Foden, S Armitage, Crane, Tait etc). Joking apart though, Deacon’s exclusion ahead of him is totally absurd.

  9. How on earth hasBorthwick and Deacon again been selected and not Kennedy. Nice to see Lawes included but I would bet that he’ll be sent home every week with Shaw partnering Borthwick and Deacon (the impact player) on the bench. Same with Dan Cole. He has been superb and yet Payne (who Cole destroyed at the weekend) and White, are both included. Luckily Ashton has now been included, but that had to happen though injury. Has Johnno or any of the selectors actually been watching any of the Premiership this season?

    Not sure if Johnno will play them, but I’m quite looking forward to seeing a wilko, Flutey, Hape combination.

  10. Agree with what most people are saying on here, got a terrible feeling all the young players we should be blooding into international rugby (Foden, Tait, Lawes, Ashton) will be sent home and Johnno will claim the training is still a ‘good experience’ for them. How are players supposed to get experience if they are not going to get any game time?

    What I would like the first team to be:
    1. Payne (only as there is literally no one else, he was ripped apart by Cole)
    2. Hartley
    3. Wilson (though should throw Cole in, I know he is young but that is how props learn!)
    4. Lawes
    5. Shaw
    6. Moody
    7. S. Armitage
    8. Easter
    9. Care
    10. Wilko
    11. Ashton
    12. Flutey
    13. Tait
    14. Monye
    15. D. Armitage

    In all reality we will see Borthwick, Banahan and Hipkiss in there with Deacon on the bench, what a dynamic team!

  11. totally agree with everybody, Johno isn’t fooling anybody anymore, all the talent will be sent home. The trick is if you agrivate them sufficiently then they will say something stupid to the press or a coach and then you don’t have to select them at all.

    Seems like the main characteristics one should have for making the england team, is age and size, just age if you are a forward.

    I hope Cole destroys the Swansea pack for the Tigers and puts real pressure on Johnno.

    Payne, Wilson, Borthwick, Deacon, Crane, Care, Flood, Hape, Banahan and sorry to say Wilko aren’t offering us anything come next world cup so what the hell are they doing in the team. Granted Shaw is old but at least he has something to teach the youngsters prior the WC.

    Nice to see mears back in the team, quite like him, when he throws the ball at least the lineout is solid.

  12. Agree with most of the above. Upset Matt BadHands is still in the squad, he’s a lumbering oaf who might do some damage against Italy but is never test class.

    And in terms of getting a backline going, all 4 (4?)fly halves in the Saxons are arguably better than both in the main squad. I’m sorry to say that Geraghty, the only England player to actually try anything in the autumn is paying the price for how deep Wilkinson was standing – he was trying to ignite stuff from a stationary position 10 yards behind the gainline. Although I’m not his biggest fan, I’ve been pretty impressed with Flood in recent weeks. He’s still a bit flaky under pressure but he challenges the defence far more than Wilkinson ever does. I’d be tempted to start with him.

    Priority – find a way to get the best out of Tom Croft. He’s our trump card, one of a kind and if we can’t use him properly it is a devastating indictment of our coaching team.

  13. Not adding much to the debate here, but I agree that the potentially exciting squad will be whittled down to a supposedly safe and experienced XV on the day with maybe a few exciting replacements on the bench at best.

    ronbraz I think that instead of “old, reliable players” it’s probably more appropriate to say “old, predictable players”! In that respect though, it is encouraging to see Kay and Worsley drop out of the EPS.

    How Deacon has survived though is beyond me. Personally I’d rather see his namesake Joey in the team (a comment that anyone under 30 won’t understand!).

    With Tait (who I still think is best on the wing), Foden and Ashton in there, there are many exciting possibilities for a back 3 combination, but I expect come February we’ll still see Banahan dropping his shoulder and running hard and straight at people and doing very little else. I have a feeling that he’ll be one of the next generation of players to be very average and yet somehow amass 50 caps or more. I hope I’m wrong.

    And I read somewhere that Thompson is back in because he impressed in the Autumn. Does anyone know what at? Golf on a day off maybe, or at pool after a few beers? Surely not rugby was it? Mind you, it didn’t take much to look like one of England’s best players in the autumn games did it?

  14. Is anyone else flummoxed by the continuing absence of James Simpson-Daniel ‘the neglected genius of England back play’ from any England squads? Great hands, great speed, great balance, great awareness, intelligent. Size? Taller than Mark Cueto…? Is it because he missed 1 important tackle in a test match? Has no-one else done that? Matt Banahan? What? Give me a break. If Wales can pick Shane Williams regularly, why is Sinbad being ignored? Nearly as much of a waste as having kept Matt Tait on the bench all this time!

  15. I can’t believe that the selection of props in the elite squad. White and Sheridan have been injured , and Payne got hammered by Cole last week. It’s time to back the players that are showing up domestically, and although there is a step up to international level the likes of Cole will learn fast between now and the world cup. Come on jonno, take a calculated risk…starting pack wish list would be:

    1. Golding
    2. Hartley
    3. Cole
    4. Kennedy
    5. Shaw
    6. Haskell
    7. Moody
    8. Easter

  16. I like Golding, a lot, but he cracked a rib and is out of contention at the moment. Looks like croft is out as well.

    My pack:

    The contact area is where rugby is won and lost these days and having a man like Moody who is a 7 but speant most of his days at 6 is a luxury. With him and Armitage in the backrow we should win some rookes. Easter to carry the hard yards, Shaw, Lawes and Hartley can do a fair bit of ball carrying as well. Haskell needs to play 8 for a team, he hasn’t go the skills at the moment but the potential is there and England could do with somebody with some speed at 8, although I like Easter, he will not improve much more.

    Backs who knows its awful, but so is the ball they recieve, so get the pack right first. At the moment I would be tempted:

    9 youngs
    10 Flood
    11 Ashton
    12 Flutey
    13 Tait
    14 Cueto
    15 Armitage

    Although chances have to be given to foden, simpson (when fit) Monye still has a lot to give, and Cipp when we can produce good quick ball should be in. He is not kicking his goals at the moment.

  17. With who has been selected, this would be the team i’d like to see play

    1. Sheridan
    2. Hartley
    3. Wilson
    4. Lawes
    5. Shaw
    6. Croft
    7. Moody
    8. Haskell
    9. Hodgson
    10. Wilkinson
    11. Ashton
    12. Flutey
    13. Hape
    14. Cueto
    15. Armitage

    16. Mears
    17. Payne (should be Cole)
    18. White (should be Golding)
    19. Easter
    20. Care (should be Simpson)
    21. Flood
    22. Tait
    23. Foden

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