Eddie Jones has named a number of exciting new young players in his latest 28-man England squad, who will convene at The Lensbury for a three day camp from Tuesday to Thursday this week.
Among them is Gloucester Academy back row Jack Clement, who is just 19 and was the Cheltenham College captain during their unbeaten season in 2018/19. Joining clement is another more familiar uncapped Cheltenham College old boy to the England squad, Ollie Thorley.
Among the other uncapped players in the squad is Saracens’ Ali Crossdale, a wing/full back now but who had plenty of experience at fly half during his time at Sedbergh School, too. He is one of two uncapped Sedbergh old boys in the squad, the other being the slightly more experienced Alex Moon, the Northampton Saints second row. Also is the squad is former Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College star Joe Heyes, a key player for England U20 in the last couple of years and a big prospect at Leicester Tigers.
Jones is clearly picking with an eye on the future as the next World Cup cycle kicks into gear and welcome a number of other uncapped youngsters into the squad, including the Northampton Saints pair Fraser Dingwall and Alex Mitchell, both of whom have spent time around squads before. Dingwall was Bedford School skipper when England and Scotland were vying for him at U18 level but Jones looks keen to cement him as an England international soon, while Mitchell was a star for Lymm High School, where his older brother James, now playing in Ireland, also excelled.
The squad does not include those who will be involved with the Gallagher Premiership playoffs, or potentially Sale v Worcester on Wednesday, which has given Jones even more scope to give players a chance ahead of a second training camp from the 15th to the 17th for which an updated squad will be named.
It means selection for the likes of former John Fisher star Alex Dombrandt, now in dominant form for Harlequins, to get his chance after a long wait, as well as a return to the squad for the uncapped Nathan Earle after injury curtailed his progress. The is room too for another uncapped Northampton Saint, David Ribbans, as well as Gloucester’s Lewis Ludlow and Dombrandt’s Quins teammate, Simon Kerrod.
England have an uncapped game against the Barbarians on the 25th October, which may be a good opportunity for a number of these new players in the squad, before their final 2020 Guinness Six Nations game against Italy on the 31st October.
They then move onto the Autumn Nations Cup, which will see England face Georgia, Ireland, Wales, and a play off game against a team from the other group.
The squad is not all new an inexperienced though, skipper Owen Farrell and fly half George Ford are both involved, so too backline stalwarts Ben Youngs, Jonny May, and Elliot Daly, along with Piers Francis, George Furbank, and the exciting Joe Marchant. Meanwhile in the pack the Vunipola brothers, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Maro Itoje, and Mark Wilson are all present alongside Jack Singleton.
England Squad for 6th-8th October camp:
Jack Clement (Gloucester Rugby*)
Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins*)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers*)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
Simon Kerrod (Harlequins*)
Lewis Ludlow (Gloucester Rugby*)
Alex Moon (Northampton Saints*)
David Ribbans (Northampton Saints*)
Jack Singleton (Gloucester Rugby)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)
Ali Crossdale (Saracens*)
Elliot Daly (Saracens)
Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints*)
Nathan Earle (Harlequins*)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
Piers Francis (Northampton Saints)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints)
Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby)
Joe Marchant (Harlequins)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)
Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints*)
Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby*)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
*Denotes Uncapped Player