England: Stuart Lancaster names Elite Player Squad plus cover for Six Nations as injuries pile-up

England will be without a number of key players such as Manu Tuilagi, Alex Corbisiero and Tom Croft forcing Lancaster to name a second squad for next month's tournament

Stuart Lancaster has named the 33-man Elite Player Squad that will be tasked with attempting a clean sweep of the Six Nations, a Tour of New Zealand and the autumn internationals as his 2015 World Cup plans begin to take off.

As well as the 33-men that make up the squad, Lancaster has named an additional 11 men that make-up the group that will tackle the Six Nations, with their first match getting underway against France in Paris on February 1.

The extra squad is named due to the mounting injuries that Lancaster has on his hands, with key players such as Alex Corbisiero, Tom Croft and Manu Tuilagi ruled out. There is the expected inclusion of the uncapped George Ford, as regular Toby Flood is dropped ahead of his move to France at the end of the season, which looks to have brought to an end an international career that has yielded 60 caps and 301 points.

There is no room either for Henry Trinder, who had been on the cusp of inclusion during the recent autumn internationals.

Lancaster said: "We have kept changes to a minimum because we believe this squad can take us forward into 2015.

"I am delighted for George, who is rewarded for his form for Bath and we are excited about including him in the senior Elite Player Squad."

Despite the change of including Ford for Flood being the only change to the EPS squad, a number of players will provide cover in a specially named Six Nations squad.

Northampton's Luther Burrell, Exeter's Jack Nowell, Gloucester's Jonny May, Leicester's Ed Slater, Sale's Henry Thomas and Bath's young wing Anthony Watson are all included and could be utilised in the Six Nations for the first time across February and March.

Northampton's Stephen Myler, Bath's Rob Webber, Saracens' Richard Wigglesworth, Wasps prop Matt Mullan and Chiefs flanker Tom Johnson could all return for England having featured in the past.

"We are hopeful that some of those injured may be available before the end of the Six Nations and certainly for the (summer) New Zealand tour," Lancaster continued.

"I have met Toby Flood several times and told him I really wanted him to stay at Leicester and play for England.

"He has made a lifestyle choice and we respect that, but given the RFU's policy of not selecting players based overseas save for exceptional circumstances it was important that we allow others such as George Ford to progress.

"Stephen Myler has a chance to lay down a marker when he trains with us while we have decided that Freddie Burns should get more international game time with the Saxons against the O2 Ireland Wolfhounds at Kingsholm on January 25, while Rob Webber and Richard Wigglesworth will give us some depth to our training."

 

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat