June International Tours

England hopefuls get chance to star against Barbarians



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Players pressing for places in England’s first team on the two-Test tour of New Zealand will look to bolster their cause after being named on Monday in a training squad for next month’s match against the Barbarians at Twickenham.

The squad for the June 1 non-cap international deliberately doesn’t feature any players from English giants Leicester and Wasps, who 24 hours earlier at Twickenham will contest the Premiership final.

So wing Paul Sackey and back-row James Haskell (Wasps) were omitted as was Leicester lock Ben Kay.

Equally, there are no representatives from either European Challenge Cup finalists Bath and Worcester, who meet on Sunday, which meant England tour captain Steve Borthwick (Bath) was left out.

However, the squad does include 13 capped internationals with the experienced Charlie Hodgson (pictured) and Toby Flood providing the outside-half options.

But there was no place for Gloucester No 10 Ryan Lamb, due to find out on Tuesday if he will be promoted from the reserve England Saxons to replace the injured Danny Cipriani in New Zealand.

Rob Andrew, England’s tour manager in New Zealand, said on Monday: “We’ve picked a very strong England squad to prepare for the match against the Barbarians with all the players selected for the training week travelling with either the England senior team or the Saxons this summer.”

The former England outside-half, also the Rugby Football Union’s director of elite rugby, added: “There are a lot of caps amongst the backs and with so many forwards tied up with their clubs in the Premiership and European Challenge Cup finals, a number of players in the Saxons squad will have their opportunity to put a marker down for future senior team selection.”

England’s matchday 22 to play the Barbarians will be announced a week on Wednesday.

World Cup finalists England are due to play two Tests in New Zealand, with the first at Eden Park, Auckland on June 14 before they meet the All Blacks again on June 21 at AMI Stadium, Christchurch.

England 27-man training squad announced on Monday to play the Barbarians in a non-cap international at Twickenham on June 1 (1400GMT kick-off):

Backs :

Anthony Allen, Mike Brown, Danny Care, Toby Flood, Charlie Hodgson, Ugo Monye, Jamie Noon, Topsy Ojo, Peter Richards, David Strettle, Mathew Tait, Mike Tindall, Richard Wigglesworth

Forwards :

Alex Clarke, Nick Easter, Tom Guest, Dylan Hartley, Jason Hobson, Stuart Hooper, Chris Jones, Nick Kennedy, Nick Lloyd, Luke Narraway, David Paice, Chris Robshaw, Will Skinner, David Wilson

Sapa-AFP – Rugbyweek.com

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