sports gazette

Seven Uncapped Players Make England Training Squad

Published: 30 Sep 2016

Eddie Jones has named England's 37-man training squad and 45-man elite player squad ahead of the Autumn International test matches.

Wasps flanker Sam Jones is one of seven uncapped players recently selected for England’s 37-man training squad.

He is joined by Sale number eight Josh Beaumont, Gloucester scrum half Dan Robson, and Harlequins centre Joe Marchant.

Other new faces also include a number of international players eligible for England selection with Fiji-born Nathan Hughes, Zimbabwe-born Mike Williams, and former rugby league Samoa international Ben Te’o all making the cut.

Eddie Jones’ squad continues to reflect youth. The team will be looking to use the upcoming Autumn International matches to add depth to what is fast becoming an experienced international roster.

At last year’s World Cup, one of the most obvious differences between England and the southern hemisphere powerhouse teams like New Zealand was depth. England simply did not have the luxury of experienced players ready to make a difference off the bench and late in games.

With a Six Nations Grand Slam and further victories in Australia, England have proven they have enough quality. Now Jones is looking to ensure the squad has enough depth to go deep into a tournament. All eyes are already fixed on the 2019 World Cup.

"I'm not teaching them how to play rugby. I'm teaching them how to work as a team"

England’s core leadership remains the same with Dylan Hartley, Chris Robshaw, and James Haskell in the pack and Mike Brown, Owen Farrell, and George Ford returning with the backs.

Haskell will continue to travel with the team despite his foot injury which will keep him side-lined for the coming months. This is to help with Eddie Jones’ emphasis on leadership and character, both factors he has quoted as crucial when making tough decisions.

Jones said this week, “I select a team that can work together. You’ve got to remember that as a national coach, I’m not teaching them how to play rugby. I’m teaching them how to work as a team”.

This character-driven ethos has seen players such as Danny Cipriani continuously overlooked for national selection by Jones. Explaining his reasoning behind the ommision of the Wasps fly half, he said “Danny has got to be able to show that he can be number one. He likes to be the main man. And when he plays well enough to be number one, he’ll be in the squad”.

The team will train in Brighton for three days ahead of their first autumn test against South Africa on 12th November at Twickenham. England have not beaten South Africa since 2006 and will be hoping a further injection of youth can help buck this trend. They will also face Fiji, Argentina, and Australia over the coming months.

^ Back to top ^