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Vunipola brothers named in England squad but Saracens, Quins and Wasps stars released

Billy Vunipola runs with the ball during an England training session. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images Billy Vunipola runs with the ball during an England training session. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
8:47 PM

Saracens duo Mako and Billy Vunipola will appear together in a Test match squad for the first time when England face Australia in the first QBE International on Saturday.

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Mako Vunipola looks on during an England training session. Photo by David Rogers/Getty ImagesMako Vunipola looks on during an England training session. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

The brothers are among 23 players that have been retained by head coach Stuart Lancaster and will stay at Pennyhill Park to make final preparations for the weekend.

Twelve others have been released to their Aviva Premiership clubs for the latest round of domestic competition. Sarries full-back Alex Goode is among that group, and will return to the Hendon side to leave Harlequins’ Mike Brown and Northampton’s Ben Foden in contention for the No.15 shirt.

After a brace of tries against Saracens, Foden has forced his way into the 23, where he is joined by London Irish’s Marland Yarde, Sarries’ Chris Ashton and Brown as the back-three options.

British and Irish Lions lock Geoff Parling is unavailable for selection after sustaining a mild concussion during Tuesday afternoon’s training session. The Leicester Tigers man will remain at England’s base for treatment with a view to returning to training next week, with loose-head prop Alex Corbisiero also staying in camp for continued rehabilitation on his knee injury.

Lancaster said: “It’s never easy deciding who to select and that’s what you want – players pushing hard for places across the board. We have had two good days of training here at Pennyhill Park and, added to last week in Leeds, we are in good form and looking forward to the game.

Geoff Parling sustained a mild concussion during a contact session this afternoon and will undergo the recommended graduated return to play protocol. As such, he will be unavailable for Saturday’s game but will stay in camp with a view to returning to training next week.”

England squad to face Australia

Forwards: David Attwood (Bath Rugby), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Backs: Chris Ashton (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), Joel Tomkins (Saracens), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby), Marland Yarde (London Irish), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Alex Corbisiero (knee) and Geoff Parling (mild concussion) will also return to camp for continued treatment.

Released players:Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby), Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints), Danny Care (Harlequins), Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby), Alex Goode (Saracens), Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby), Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks), Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby), Rob Webber (Bath Rugby), Christian Wade (London Wasps)

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