New era begins as Stuart Lancaster announces much changed England squad

 

Stuart Lancaster launched England's new era today when he announced an elite
squad featuring nine uncapped players and 13 changes from the failed World Cup
campaign.

Owen Farrell and his Saracens team-mate Brad Barritt both receive their first senior call-ups ahead of the RBS 6 Nations along with Northampton scrum-half Lee Dickson and Harlequins centre Jordan Turner-Hall.

Northampton provide a quarter of the squad with uncapped loose-forwards Phil Dowson and Calum Clark taking the Saints contingent to eight.

Harlequins prop Joe Marler and Wasps hooker Rob Webber are both included along with Ben Morgan, the Scarlets number eight who pledged his allegiance to England after turning down an approach from Wales.

Mouritz Botha, Charlie Sharples, Chris Robshaw and Joe Simpson will all be looking to add to the single cap they won under Martin Johnson's regime.

Toby Flood is the most experienced member of the squad with 46 caps, although he is set to miss the start of the Six Nations with a knee ligament injury.

Lancaster, England's interim head coach, turned to a new generation after omitting senior players Mike Tindall, Nick Easter and Mark Cueto.

Delon Armitage and Matt Banahan have both been relegated to the England Saxons squad and there is no place in either squad for Shontayne Hape.

Lewis Moody, Jonny Wilkinson and Steve Thompson have all retired, while Simon Shaw and James Haskell are ineligible for selection under Rugby Football Union rules after signing for overseas clubs.

That restriction does not apply to Morgan or Tom Palmer because their respective contracts with the Scarlets and Stade Francais pre-date the RFU's directive.

Lancaster said: "In line with the selection philosophy about starting new era for English rugby, we have taken the chance to make changes and give players opportunities to be part of the journey towards (the Rugby World Cup in) 2015.

"We have lost some great players who have worn the England shirt with pride and distinction - Lewis, Steve and Jonny - and we should thank them for all they did.

"Others haven't been selected and I have met them and explained the reasons why as we look for the next player to step up in that position to take us forward."

Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care had been in line for a recall after missing the World Cup through injury but he has been suspended for the tournament following his arrest on suspicion of drink driving.

Andrew Sheridan and Richard Wigglesworth were not considered due to long-term injury and Lancaster has already had to make some temporary changes to his squad.

Bath lock Dave Attwood, Saracens full-back Alex Goode, Leicester second row Geoff Parling and Gloucester centre Henry Trinder will join the elite squad as temporary replacements for Flood, Courtney Lawes, Louis Deacon and Manu Tuilagi, who are all set to miss the start of the Six Nations.

Lancaster will name his captain at the end of England's pre-Six Nations training week, which begins on January 23 at West Park Leeds rugby club.

England open the defence of their title against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 4.

Lancaster told a press conference broadcast on Sky Sports News: "We've got a fantastic opportunity here - a new group of players, lots of people who have been desperate for this chance.

"We have to pull together as a team quickly.

"We are at the start of a new era."

Lancaster also put a strong emphasis on leadership and expects a number of players to emerge as contenders for the captaincy.

"The most important thing for me is to get the leadership group right.

"It is a new group - they need to step up and take the lead.

"There are good, good leaders, talented players.

"We want a leadership group that is strong.

"The ultimate aim is for the players to shape the culture and drive the programme."

Lancaster admitted there had been some difficult choices with a number of established players failing to make the cut.

However, he felt change was necessary going forward, saying: "I always felt January 2012 was going to be a defining moment for the future.

"We've picked a side that is talented, that is committed to where we want to be at the top of the game.

"Some players have retired recently, some haven't been selected but I spoke to them and said the door is not shut.

"But we want to be the best and beat the best.

"The players are excited, we think it's a tremendous opportunity for us going forward to build a squad that has potential for now and potential for the future.

"The new lads coming in have proved themselves in big games for their clubs so I am very comfortable."

Assistant coach Graham Rowntree added: "There won't be a lot of change in coaching techniques.

"I want the lads excited and energised playing for England again."

 

England's 32-man elite player squad for the RBS 6 Nations championship:

Forwards - M Botha (Saracens), C Clark (Northampton Saints), A Corbisiero (London Irish), D Cole (Leicester Tigers), T Croft (Leicester Tigers), L Deacon (Leicester Tigers), P Dowson (Northampton Saints), D Hartley (Northampton Saints), C Lawes (Northampton Saints), J Marler (Harlequins), L Mears (Bath Rugby), B Morgan (Scarlets), T Palmer (Stade Francais), C Robshaw (Harlequins), M Stevens (Saracens), R Webber (London Wasps), D Wilson (Bath Rugby), T Wood (Northampton Saints).

Backs - C Ashton (Northampton Saints), B Barritt (Saracens), M Brown (Harlequins), L Dickson (Northampton Saints), O Farrell (Saracens), T Flood (Leicester Tigers), B Foden (Northampton Saints), C Hodgson (Saracens), J Simpson (London Wasps), C Sharples (Gloucester Rugby), D Strettle (Saracens), M Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), J Turner-Hall (Harlequins), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

England Saxons 32-man squad for fixtures against the Ireland Wolfhounds (January 28) and Scotland A (Galashiels):

Forwards - *D Attwood (Bath Rugby), C Brooker (Harlequins), P Doran Jones (Northampton Saints), M Garvey (London Irish), J Gaskell (Sale Sharks), J Gibson (London Irish), J Gray (Harlequins), T Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), J Launchbury (London Wasps), M Mullan (Worcester Warriors), L Narraway (Gloucester Rugby), D Paice (London Irish), *G Parling (Leicester Tigers), G Robson (Harlequins), A Saull (Saracens), H Thomas (Sale Sharks), T Waldrom (Leicester Tigers), N Wood (Gloucester Rugby).

Backs - N Abendanon (Bath Rugby), A Allen (Leicester Tigers), D Armitage (London Irish), M Banahan (Bath Rugby), F Burns (Gloucester Rugby), K Dickson (Harlequins), *A Goode (Saracens), J Joseph (London Irish), R Lamb (Northampton Saints), J May (Gloucester Rugby), U Monye (Harlequins), *H Trinder (Gloucester Rugby), B Twelvetrees (Leicester Tigers), M Young (Leicester Tigers).

*denotes players who are providing temporary injury cover in the elite squad.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?