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Eight uncapped players make squad for England´s Six Nations opener

18 January 2018 11:51

Eddie Jones will run the rule over eight uncapped players during England's training camp in Portugal ahead of their Six Nations opener against Italy.

With Joe Marler and James Haskell both ruled out of the clash due to suspension and another 11 players unavailable, Jones will use the camp to assess his options for their defence of the title.

Eight of the 35-man squad have yet to make their England debuts but there is plenty of experience in the remainder of the party, 898 caps to be precise.

Lewis Boyce's form for Harlequins earns him a first call-up in place of club team-mate Marler, while Nathan Earle and Harry Mallinder both get another chance to impress after touring Argentina in 2017.

Jones is excited to see what the new faces have to offer, but is also focused on getting their campaign underway with a victory in Rome.

"I have selected the strongest available squad to prepare for our opening match against Italy," said the head coach, who signed a new deal until 2021 on Wednesday.

"It is important we start the tournament well and we will spend the next two weeks training smart and really fine-tuning our game plan for the Italy match next month.

"I am expecting a really positive training camp in Portugal and while we have a few players unavailable through injury or suspension, it has provided opportunity for others who will be desperate to be involved in the Italy game."

 

England squad to face Italy:

Forwards: Lewis Boyce, Dan Cole, Tom Dunn, Jamie George, Gary Graham, Dylan Hartley, Alec Hepburn, Nick Isiekwe, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Joe Launchbury, Zach Mercer, Chris Robshaw, Sam Simmonds, Kyle Sinckler, Sam Underhill, Mako Vunipola, Harry Williams.

Backs: Mike Brown, Danny Care, Nathan Earle, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph, Alex Lozowski, Harry Mallinder, Jonny May, Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Marcus Smith, Denny Solomona, Ben Te'o, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs.

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