Johnson announces England and Saxons squads

England manager Martin Johnson has called the uncapped Northampton full-back or scrum-half Ben Foden into his elite squad for the 2009 Six Nations. Also back are
Gloucester full-back Olly Morgan and Centre Mike Tindall plus Sale wing Mark Cueto and Leicester’s Lewis Moody, back after a long-term ankle injury. Delon Armitage, Ugo Monye and Nick Easter, who all played in the autumn Tests but were only in the squad as cover for injured players, are also now officially part of the squad.

Olly Barkley, Jordan Crane, Michael Lipman and the injured James Simpson-Daniel, Dan Hipkiss and Peter Richards, are among those that drop out. They are all included in the second-string Saxons squad, which also features veteran Leicester tight-head prop Julian White, and Northampton fly-half Stephen Myler, a convert from rugby league.

Lock Tom Palmer, who will miss the entire Six Nations, and flanker Tom Rees, who will miss at least three games, are both included, but further players will be summoned as cover.

England kick off their Six Nations campaign against Italy at Twickenham on 7 February, and the squad will head to Portugal on 25 January for a week’s training as part of their preparations.

The Saxons have two fixtures lined up during the Six Nations period, against Portugal on 30 January and Ireland A on 6 February.

Revised England elite player squad of 32

Forwards: Tim Payne (Wasps), Andrew Sheridan (Sale), Matt Stevens (Bath), Phil Vickery (Wasps), George Chuter (Leicester), Dylan Hartley (Northampton), Lee Mears (Bath), Steve Borthwick (Saracens), Nick Kennedy (London Irish), Tom Palmer (Wasps), Simon Shaw (Wasps), Tom Croft (Leicester), James Haskell (Wasps), Lewis Moody (Leicester), Tom Rees (Wasps), Nick Easter (Harlequins), Luke Narraway (Gloucester).

Backs: Delon Armitage (London Irish), Olly Morgan (Gloucester), Mathew Tait (Sale), Mark Cueto (Sale), Paul Sackey (Wasps), Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Jamie Noon (Newcastle), Mike Tindall (Gloucester), Riki Flutey (Wasps), Shane Geraghty (London Irish), Danny Cipriani (Wasps), Toby Flood (Leicester), Danny Care (Harlequins), Harry Ellis (Leicester), Ben Foden (Northampton).

Revised England Saxons squad of 32

Forwards: Matt Mullan (Worcester), Nick Wood (Gloucester), Julian White (Leicester), David Wilson (Newcastle), David Paice (London Irish), Joe Ward (Wasps), Rob Webber (Wasps), Richard Blaze (Leicester), Louis Deacon (Leicester), Ben Kay (Leicester), George Skivington (Wasps), Steffon Armitage (London Irish), Jordan Crane (Leicester), Tom Guest (Harlequins), Michael Lipman (Bath), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Joe Worsley (Wasps).

Backs: Nick Abendanon (Bath), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Matt Banahan (Bath), Topsy Ojo (London Irish), James Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester), David Strettle (Harlequins), Olly Barkley (Gloucester), Dan Hipkiss (Leicester), Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins), Dominic Waldouck (Wasps), Ryan Lamb (Gloucester), Stephen Myler (Northampton), Paul Hodgson (London Irish), Peter Richards (London Irish), Richard Wigglesworth (Sale).