Stuart Lancaster the England Coach has surprised a few of us with the Centres named for the Autumn Internationals. Part of the reasoning is most likely to be all the injuries. But given that, it is great to see Saracens’ Joel Tomkins, Gloucester’s Henry Trinder and Northampton’s Luther Burrell all called up for the first time and joined by the Exeter backrower Tom Johnson.
There are no surprises in the rest of the selection though Prop Alex Corbisiero is included even with his knee problem. For him Stuart Lancaster said “the 25-year-old faces a couple of weeks of rehabilitation . He’s not out of the series by any stretch of the imagination, everyone is optimistically hoping he will come through and be available for some if not all the games. 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.”
Lancaster also said: “We are pleased with the form of the squad, inevitably there have been some injuries and there is still a big European weekend ahead. But injures always create opportunities and we are pleased to call up Tom Johnson, Joel Tomkins, Henry Trinder and Luther Burrell into the senior squad. “Luther joins us as injury cover so 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.” Joel has been very effective in some very big games for Saracens, he’s got the temperament and the game understanding now. “We’re confident in Joel. It’s going to be an interesting selection debate over the next few weeks.”
There would appear to be no place in the coaches thinking for either George Ford or Danny Cipriani at this time, his comments being that players must be consistent and in form over some six to twelve months. Ford has only recently been given the full chance as first choice ten at Bath where he is proving a revelation, Whilst Cipriani has still been erratic this season.
The Full England squad:
Props: Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Alex Corbisiero (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), David Wilson (Bath Rugby) Hookers: Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers). Locks: David Attwood (Bath Rugby), Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers), Back-rows: Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby), Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints).
Back three: Chris Ashton (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), Alex Goode (Saracens), Christian Wade (London Wasps), Marland Yarde (London Irish) Centres: Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints), Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby), Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby), Joel Tomkins (Saracens), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby) Fly-halves: Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers) Scrum-halves: Danny Care (Harlequins), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).