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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Tangerine Dream Edgar Froese
people
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
News
Friends for life … some professionals think loneliness is more worrying than obesity
scienceSocial contact is good for our sense of wellbeing - but it's a myth that loneliness kills, say researchers
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
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

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us