Rugby: Eight Saracens in England camp call
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
England coach Eddie Jones has included eight Saracens players in his 37-man squad for a three-day pre-season training camp.
Owen Farrell, Jamie George and Maro Itoje will spend the first day in camp on Saturday, while other British & Irish Lions players have opted to remain on their summer break.
And they will be joined by Billy Vunipola, Richard Wigglesworth, Nathan Earle, as well as Nick Isiekwe and Alex Lozowski, who made their England debuts on the successful tour of Argentina.
Manu Tuilagi will join up with the England squad having last played for his country during the 2016 RBS 6 Nations and 18-year-old Marcus Smith (Harlequins) has also been called up having been involved in some sessions at England’s training camp in Brighton at the end of last season, as well as playing in England U20s 2017 Six Nations Grand Slam winning squad.
Hooker Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby) is also named in the training squad and the camp will involve medical checkups, functional and rugby training, planning meetings and individual reviews as England begin their preparations for the upcoming Old Mutual Wealth Series.
The seven players involved with the Lions tour who have opted to attend the camp will not train and will only take part in medical check-ups, as well as coach and strength & conditioning reviews.
The home Old Mutual Wealth Series played in November will involve three Tests against Argentina, who England beat 2-0 in June; Australia, who have lost on the previous four occasions to England; and Samoa who last played England in 2014.
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Jones said: “We are at an incredibly important stage with two years to go to the Rugby World Cup in Japan and there is still a big step to make if we want to be the number one team in the world.
“We are going to have to be meticulous in a preparation in everything we do as we build towards Tokyo and that is why this camp is vital ahead of this season.
“The players, coaches and staff will use these three days to reconnect and ensure we are all clear on what our priorities and expectations are ahead of the Premiership season as well as the upcoming Old Mutual Wealth Series.”
Following two camps in August and September (Oxford), a final England squad will be announced on October 26 to play in the Old Mutual Wealth Series. England will travel to Portugal for a week’s training camp at the end of October before final preparations begin at Pennyhill Park ahead of the first Test versus Argentina (November 11).
England training squad: Forwards – Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, Monday only); Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs); Tom Curry (Sale Sharks); Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby); Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby); Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers); Jamie George (Saracens, Saturday only); Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints); Nathan Hughes (Wasps); Nick Isiekwe (Saracens); Maro Itoje (Saracens, Saturday only); Joe Launchbury (Wasps); Chris Robshaw (Harlequins); Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, Saturday only); Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby); Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs); Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons); Billy Vunipola (Saracens); Backs – Mike Brown (Harlequins); Danny Care (Harlequins); Nathan Earle (Saracens); Owen Farrell (Saracens, Saturday only); George Ford (Leicester Tigers); Piers Francis (Northampton Saints); Alex Lozowski (Saracens); Harry Mallinder (Northampton Saints); Joe Marchant (Harlequins); Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs); Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby); Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, Monday only); Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens); Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs); Marcus Smith (Harlequins); Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks); Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers); Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, Monday only); Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).