Henry Trinder and Joel Tomkins named in England squad for autumn internationals against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand
Alex Corbisiero also makes the cut despite picking up a knee injury which could rule him out of the entire series
Wednesday 16 October 2013
Stuart Lancaster has named his squad for the autumn internationals next month when England take on Australia, Argentina and New Zealand at Twickenham next month.
With the centre partnership of Brad Barritt and Manu Tuilagi ruled out through injury, and the news that Tuilagi's Leicester Tigers team-mate Anthony Allen will also miss the entire programme, Lancaster has chosen to call-up Saracens' Joel Tomkins and Gloucester's Henry Trinder, who will compete with Kyle Eastmond, Luther Burrell and Billy Twelvetrees for a starting berth.
Elsewhere, British and Irish Lions prop Alex Corbisiero is included despite picking up a knee injury which could make him unavailable for all three games, while both Chris Robshaw and Tom Wood are named in the side with the captaincy yet to be announced - the two back-row forwards are the favourites to lead out England against the Wallabies on November 2.
Lancaster explained that although the injuries were a blow, it meant that the door opened to others to make their claim for regular inclusion - something he has stressed throughout his reign as England head coach.
"Inevitably there have been some injuries and there is still a big European weekend ahead," Lancaster said.
"But injures always create opportunities and we are pleased to call up Tom Johnson, Joel Tomkins, Henry Trinder and Luther Burrell into the Senior EPS.
"Luther is joining us as injury cover and it will be great for him to come in and put a marker down in what is going to be a competitive selection leading into the Australia game.
"We have three major Tests ahead of us and we are looking forward to the challenge."
The former England Saxons coach also admitted his excitement for the Tests as eyes start to turn on a home World Cup in 2015.
"We have been looking forward to this QBE Internationals series ever since we got back from Argentina," Lancaster admitted.
"As a coaching group we have watched a lot of rugby and we are pleased with the form of the squad.
"The camp is an important part of our preparation and we are looking forward to meeting up."
The inclusion of Corbisiero is a questionable one, with the loosehead suffering from a knee injury that is threatening his participation. However, Lancaster stressed that he is not ruled out of the matches and they will monitor his fitness with a two week rehab period arranged.
"It's recommended that Alex has a couple of weeks' rehab. He's not out of the series by any stretch of the imagination," Lancaster said.
"Everyone is optimistically hoping he will come through and be available for some if not all the games.
"At the moment, having had fluid drained off the knee, he will have a period of rehab that covers this week and leading into next week. We'll see how we go, we're keeping an open mind on it.
"Long term it's obviously something he's struggling with, but we're optimistic that with good management - and his club Northampton have been excellent - we'll see him through beyond 2015.
"We're still quite a way away from the Australia game. We'll give him plenty of time but we'll do what's right for Alex.
"We have a really strong group at loosehead with Mako Vunipola and Joe Marler. We'll see how it goes with Alex."
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