Dylan Hartley in England squad – but told to toe the line

Stuart Lancaster gives banned hooker latest chance and says depth of talent made selections tricky

In naming a 33-man squad for the new season, the England head coach, Stuart Lancaster, drew on players who have spent the summer variously in Argentina, Australia or simply on holiday – while delivering one, the currently suspended Dylan Hartley, from purgatory.

Hartley forfeited his place on the Lions tour to Australia when he was sent off for abuse of the referee while captaining his club Northampton in May's Premiership final. But Lancaster recently met Hartley and has been reassured the player now "knows where the line is".

Hartley's 11-week ban for his dismissal runs until 1 September, a few days before the Premiership kicks off. But though it was far from Hartley's first misdemeanour, Lancaster chose not to punish the 27-year-old, 47-cap hooker further by demoting him from England's Senior Elite Player Squad.

"I met Dylan a couple of weeks ago, we had a long conversation," said Lancaster, who otherwise made six changes to the last senior squad named in January. "I wanted to understand exactly what happened that day [of the final], and what his view on it now was. I wanted to be reassured that he understands where the line is, and what's right and what's wrong in terms of discipline. He knows he did wrong but there's enough I've seen of Dylan to reassure me that he deserves his next chance."

England have a three-day camp in August, but their dozen Lions will be spared training, so the squad, which has no uncapped players, will only meet in earnest in October, a fortnight before the opening QBE International against Australia at Twickenham on 2 November, with Argentina and New Zealand to follow. The other senior squad hooker, Tom Youngs, featured in all three Lions Tests, while Bath's Rob Webber, who is in the Saxons squad of 32, was part of an England scrum that dominated Argentina during the two-Test clean sweep in June.

Mathew Tait's re-emergence in the Saxons may have the senior full-backs Mike Brown, Ben Foden and the currently injured Alex Goode looking over their shoulders. And with Lancaster planning for all experimentation to be over by this time next year – 13 months out from a home World Cup – the young wings Christian Wade and Marland Yarde are moving in the right direction at the right time.

So too Kyle Eastmond, Bath's 24-year-old code-crosser, once of St Helens, who in common with Wade and Yarde was capped in Argentina and made the most of it. Eastmond and Billy Twelvetrees have a chance to smooth the back line's rough edges by offering the "second footballer" Lancaster likes in midfield rather than at full-back. Jonathan Joseph and Dave Strettle have been nudged out behind the scrum, while in the back five of the pack Calum Clark, James Haskell, Tom Johnson and Thomas Waldrom are jettisoned in favour of Dave Attwood, Matt Kvesic and Billy Vunipola to rubber-stamp their performances in South America.

"This was the toughest EPS selection we've had to make," said Lancaster. "Twelve England players were part of a victorious British & Irish Lions tour, eight others won their first caps in Argentina, a number of rested senior players will have benefited from their break and our Under-20 side won the Junior World Championship."

Among the five senior men Lancaster gave the summer off – Chris Ashton, Brad Barritt (though he was recruited by the Lions), Danny Care, Toby Flood and Chris Robshaw – the last named faces a hefty challenge for his open-side place from the all-action Kvesic and for the captaincy from Northampton's Tom Wood, who assumed the role in Argentina with considerable panache.

Red Rose in bloom: Elite player squad

There are no uncapped players in England's 33-man senior squad, but half a dozen changes from the last group named in January.

Dave Attwood

A handy alternative to Geoff Parling, the Bath lock began to put disciplinary worries behind him with an authoritative tour of Argentina, including calling the line-outs.

Kyle Eastmond

A jinking try in the second summer Test in Buenos Aires was Jason Robinson-esque, demonstrating the quick feet and reactions of Bath's ex-rugby league centre.

Matt Kvesic

Open-side flanker newly signed by Gloucester from Worcester, and emerging as the fast-breaking link man England have been missing.

Billy Vunipola

Summer transfer from Wasps to join brother Mako at Saracens, and looking to push Ben Morgan as England's ball-carrying bruiser at No 8.

Christian Wade

Made his debut in Argentina before joining the Lions; stardom awaits the Wasps wing if he can add decent defence to his attacking gifts.

Marland Yarde

One-time QPR trialist is mixing it with the Twickers set now and the London Irish wing is tipped by club coach Brian Smith to win 50 caps.

England squad

Forwards D Attwood, D Cole, A Corbisiero, T Croft, D Hartley, M Kvesic, J Launchbury, C Lawes, J Marler, B Morgan, G Parling, C Robshaw, B Vunipola, M Vunipola, D Wilson, T Wood, T Youngs.

Backs C Ashton, B Barritt, M Brown, F Burns, D Care, L Dickson, O Farrell, T Flood, B Foden, A Goode, K Eastmond, M Tuilagi, B Twelvetrees, C Wade, M Yarde, B Youngs.

Suggested Topics
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Plans to decriminalise non-payment of television licence fees would cost the BBC £500m according to estimates drawn up within the Corporation
people
News
people
Life & Style
The new low cost smartphone of Motorola, 'Motorola Moto G', is displayed in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 13, 2013. The smartphone, with dimensions 65.9mm W x 129.9mm H x 6.0 - 11.6mm D is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with quad-core 1,2 GHz CPU, a 4.5-inch display and Android Operating System 4.3 and a suggested price of $ 179 USD.
techData assessing smartphones has revealed tens of millions of phones are at risk of being harvested
Arts & Entertainment
Jessica Pare as Megan Draper and Jon Hamm as the troubled, melancholy Don Draper
tvAnd six other questions we hope Mad Men series seven will answer
Arts & Entertainment
Cody and Paul Walker pictured in 2003.
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal
Supersize art

Is big better? Britain's latest super-sized art

The Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
James Dean: Back on the big screen

James Dean: Back on the big screen

As 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star perfected his moody act
Catch-22: How the cult classic was adapted for the stage

How a cult classic was adapted for the stage

More than half a century after it was published 'Catch-22' will make its British stage debut next week
10 best activity books for children

10 best activity books for children

Keep little ones busy this bank holiday with one of these creative, educational and fun books
Arsenal 3 West Ham United 1: Five things we learnt from the battle between the London sides

Five things we learnt from Arsenal's win over West Ham

Arsenal still in driving seat for Champions League spot and Carroll can make late charge into England’s World Cup squad
Copa del Rey final: Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right

Pete Jenson on the Copa del Rey final

Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right
Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

With the tennis circus now rolling on to the slowest surface, Paul Newman highlights who'll be making the headlines – and why
Exclusive: NHS faces financial disaster in 2015 as politicians urged to find radical solution

NHS faces financial disaster in 2015

Politicians urged to find radical solution
Ukraine crisis: How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?

Ukraine crisis

How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

A history of the First World War in 100 moments
Fires could turn Amazon rainforest into a desert as human activity and climate change threaten ‘lungs of the world’, says study

New threat to the Amazon rainforest:

Fires that scorch the ‘lungs of the Earth’
Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City: And the winner of this season’s Premier League title will be...

Who’s in box seat now? The winner of the title will be ...

Who is in best shape to take the Premier League prize?