Stuart Lancaster has announced his 32 man squad for the QBE Autumn Internationals against Fiji, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.
James Haskell and Ugo Monye are both recalled to the squad having previously been named in the Saxons squad when the Elite Player Squad was named in July.
Uncapped front row duo Mako Vunipola and Tom Youngs are both selected, while Tom Wood and Courtney Lawes also return following long term injury. There was however no recall for Steffon Armitage as Lancaster stuck to his pledge of not selecting those playing overseas.
The players come in for the injured Tom Croft, Alex Corbisiero, Ben Foden and Rob Webber, though Graham Rowntree suggested that Corbisiero might be fit for the final couple of games.
Lancaster spoke in glowing terms of the additions to the squad, saying:
â€œItâ€™s great to be able to give Mako a chance in the squad. He has come through our age grade sides and made a real impact at Saracens. Likewise Tom Youngs,Â who was with us on tour in South Africa, and we know what James Haskell and Ugo Monye are capable of if they get their opportunity.â€
Forwards coach Rowntree then spoke even more effusively about the Saracens prop Vunipola:
“Vunipola has been rewarded for form that we just cannot ignore. We’ve watched him very closely, we can’t find a fault in his game.”
â€œI haven’t found a weakness in his game. He’ll definitely be on the benchâ€
Lancaster declined to name his captain in the press conference though, saying that he will name the captain having â€˜spoken to the players firstâ€™.
It seems likely though that Robshaw will be renamed as captain, certainly if his media duties are anything to go by, though Dylan Hartley and Tom Wood are likely to be consulted as is Toby Flood.
There was no place in the squad for Nick Easter, who despite being the form Number 8 in the country has once again missed out on selection, though Rowntree did leave a glimmer of hope for the Harlequins man:
“We met Nick last week and we said the door is not shut if there is an injuryâ€
The squad will meet up on Sunday at the Football Associationâ€™s new development centre, St Georgeâ€™s Park, before returning to their usual training spot, Pennyhill Park, on Thursday ahead of the first Test.
England Squad for the QBE Autumn Internationals:
Mouritz Botha (Saracens), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), James Haskell (London Wasps), Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), Courtney Lawes. (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby), Tom Palmer (London Wasps), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Anthony Allen (Leicester Tigers), Chris Ashton (Saracens), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Alex Goode (Saracens), Jonathan Joseph (London Irish), Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)