Cipriani, Ashton miss England cut

Mon, 01 Aug 2016 20:33
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SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Danny Cipriani and Chris Ashton have been left out of England's provisional squad for this month's pre-season training camp.

In contrast Nathan Hughes and Mike Williams are included for the first time.

Flyhalf Cipriani, wing Ashton and centre Luther Burrell were the most high-profile omissions by England coach Eddie Jones - as the Australian named a 45-man training squad.

Wasps back row Hughes and Leicester's Zimbabwe-born lock Williams have been given their first chance to impress Jones ahead of the internationals against South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia in November this year.

Leicester hooker and club captain Tom Youngs, who was a regular under former England boss Stuart Lancaster, returns after previously being overlooked by Jones.

Gloucester wing Jonny May is also back in the squad following his recovery from knee surgery.

Following their series win in South Africa with England Saxons, Dan Robson (Wasps), Mike Haley (Sale) and Charlie Ewels (Bath) will join the camp, as will Joe Marchant (Harlequins) and Will Evans (Leicester), who were part of the England team who won the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in June.

England will announce their final squad on September 30 - ahead of the internationals which start against South Africa at Twickenham on November 12.

"This camp sets the scene for November," Jones said in  a media release.

"It's important to catch-up with the players prior to the start of the season and continue to put our plans in place.

"We'll use this time to reset and review each player's goals so they're clear on what is expected of them between now and when we meet up again in October.

"It also gives us an opportunity to meet and assess some new players and ensure they are familiar with the England setup.

"The long-term strategy for England is to develop a side who can be the most dominant team in world rugby, so we've chosen a number of new faces to attend this camp on the form they have shown recently or the potential we see in them."

Jones left the door open for Cipriani and Ashton to play their way back into his squad.

"There will always be opportunities for anyone playing consistently well in the Premiership at the start of the season to force their way into the squad - the door is always open," Jones said.

"Naturally players not included in this pre-season camp will be disappointed, but consistent high-level performances can change this."

England's stunning 3-0 whitewash of Australia in June made them the second-ranked team in the world, but Jones warned his players not to rest on their laurels as he focuses on ending South Africa's decade-long dominance in the fixture.

"Our next game presents us with a huge challenge. England has not beaten South Africa since 2006 and we've lost our last five games against the Springboks at Twickenham," Jones said.

"Not a single player who will attend the pre-season camp has played in a side that has ever beaten South Africa.

"While we acknowledge that we're moving in the right direction, we also recognise that defeat is never far away.

"It's important the players all keep trying to improve and push themselves to reach new standards in their game. We cannot afford to have any complacency in our approach to this Test."

England squad:

Forwards: Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Will Evans (Leicester Tigers), Charlie Ewels (Bath), Jamie George (Saracens), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Mike Williams (Leicester Tigers), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliott Daly (Wasps), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath), Alex Goode (Saracens), Mike Haley (Sale Sharks), Jonathan Joseph (Bath), Joe Marchant (Harlequins), Jonny May (Gloucester), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Dan Robson (Wasps), Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath), Joe Simpson (Wasps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Te'o (Worcester Warriors), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Anthony Watson (Bath), Marland Yarde (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).