Lancaster doubles his training squad and there are still more to come


Stuart Lancaster has added a further 21 players to his already twenty-man strong England training squad ahead of England’s game against the Barbarians on the 1st June and the subsequent tour of New Zealand.

Eighteen of the additional twenty-one players are from Leicester Tigers and Harlequins after they lost their Aviva Premiership semi finals this weekend, with Sale Sharks’ James Gaskell and Ross Harrison also included, most likely for involvement against the Barbarians, while Bath’s Rob Webber is also brought in as England seek to aid his recovery from injury ahead of a potential hooking crisis in New Zealand with Tom Youngs unable to tour for family reasons and Dylan Hartley still struggling to recover from injury in time.

That hooking crisis is reflected in Lancaster’s training squad selection, which sees all three Harlequins hookers, Rob Buchanan, Dave Ward, and Joe Gray, included in a squad that already contains Exeter Chiefs’ Luke Cowan-Dickie and Sale Sharks’ Tommy Taylor, as well as the recovering Webber.

Eight other Harlequins players are also included, notably Harlequins and England captain Chris Robshaw. Robshaw’s back for partner Luke Wallace is also included as are the front row trio of Kyle Sinkler, Will Collier, and Joe Marler.

Second row Charlie Matthews is the ninth Harlequins forward in the squad, but there is room for just two of the Quins backline, two of the stars of England’s Six Nations campaign – Danny Care and Mike Brown, Brown  is expected to be fit despite picking up an injury against Saracens on Saturday.

Seven Leicester Tigers complete the squad, the centre pairing of Anthony Allen and Manu Tuilagi are together in an England squad again, while Ben Youngs will look to regain the England number 9 shirt.

Geoff Parling is also back in England contention after a long injury lay off and his second row club teammates and rivals, Ed Slater and George Kitchener join him in the squad along with Jamie Gibson in the back row.

The additional members of the training squad will meet up with the previously selected 20 players, that includes the likes of Danny Cipriani, Ben Morgan, and Marland Yarde at the Lensbury Club near Teddington on Wednesday evening.

Players from Saracens, Northampton Saints, Bath, and London Wasps have still not been considered for selection as they still have club commitments. Bath and Northampton Saints both play in Friday’s Amlin Cup final, while London Wasps have the second leg of their European Champions Cup play off on Saturday and Saracens play Toulon in the Heineken Cup final later that day.

Players from Bath and London Wasps will then be available for selection, however Saints and Saracens players will still be unavailable as they have the Aviva Premiership Final of the 31st May, ruling them out of England’s fixture against the Barbarians the following day and out of the first Test against the All Blacks the following week.

Stuart Lancaster explained though that the squad for the Barbarians game and the New Zealand tour will be named at midday on Monday, following the conclusion of this weekend’s European action.

Players added to England training squad

Anthony Allen (Leicester Tigers) – Centre

Mike Brown (Harlequins)
- Full Back

Ross Buchanan (Harlequins)
- Hooker

Danny Care (Harlequins)
- Scrum Half

Will Collier (Harlequins)
- Prop

James Gaskell (Sale Sharks)
- Back Row/Second Row

Jamie Gibson (Leicester Tigers) – Flanker

Joe Gray (Harlequins)
- Hooker

Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks)
- Prop

Graham Kitchener (Leicester Tigers)
- Second Row

Joe Marler (Harlequins)
- Loosehead

Charlie Matthews (Harlequins)
- Second Row

Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)
- Second Row

Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
- Flanker

Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers)
- Second Row

Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
- Prop

Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
- Centre

Luke Wallace (Harlequins)
- Flanker

Dave Ward (Harlequins)
- Hooker

Rob Webber (Bath Rugby)
- Hooker

Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers) – Scrum Half

England Training Squad:

Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons) – Loosehead

Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby) – Fly Half

Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks) – Fly Half

Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs) – Hooker

Dave Ewers (Exeter Chiefs) – Back Row

Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs) – Centre

Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs) – Back Row

Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby) – Openside

Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby) – Wing

Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby) – Number 8

Michael Paterson (Sale Sharks) – Second Row

Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors) – Full Back

Dan Robson (Gloucester Rugby) – Scrum Half

Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby) – Wing

Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs) – Fly Half

Tommy Taylor (Sale Sharks) – Hooker

Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks) – Tighthead

Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby)
- Centre

Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby) – Centre

Marland Yarde (London Irish) – Wing

England Fixtures:

Barbarians – Twickenham, Sunday 1st June

New Zealand – Saturday 7th June

New Zealand – Saturday 14th June

Crusaders – Tuesday 17th June

New Zealand – Saturday 21st June

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