No England return for Haskell

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 08:26
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SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Veteran Wasps loose forward James Haskell was left out of England's squad announced by coach Eddie Jones on Thursday for next month's three internationals at Twickenham.

The 75-times capped Haskell, a member of the British and Irish Lions squad in New Zealand earlier this year, started the season with a hand injury and has been replaced by uncapped Exeter rising star Sam Simmonds.

"At the moment he is just not playing well enough but the door isn't shut on him," Jones told a news conference of Haskell's omission.

This is the first time that Simmonds has been called into an England squad, with fellow fledgling back rows Sam Underhill and Tom Curry also included.

Haskell was the major omission in a 34-man squad announced by Australian coach Jones -- who has lost just one game in charge of England when his side were denied a second successive Six Nations Grand Slam by Ireland in Dublin in March.

However, there was no place for Harlequins wing Marland Yarde, although former Rugby League flyer Denny Solomona was included despite being sent home from England's training camp in August following a late-night drinking session with Manu Tuilagi.

Bath loose forward Zach Mercer and Harlequins flyhalf Marcus Smith were selected by Jones as "apprentice players" in a bid to gain experience of the England set-up.

"Our first match against Argentina is a significant game for England," Jones said of what will be England's fourth Test against the Pumas since November last year, having beaten them in the 2016 Old Mutual Wealth Series and twice on the tour of Argentina in June.

"This will be the fourth time we have played against Argentina in the last 12 months and the last time we play them before 2019, so we want to make sure our record against them is 4-0," former Australia and Japan coach Jones added.

Dylan Hartley, the England captain, was included after a disciplinary panel decided Tuesday he should receive no further sanction after being sent to the sin-bin for striking Clermont prop Rabah Slimani during Northampton's 24-7 European Champions Cup defeat on Saturday. 

But the England coach will be without Joe Marler for next month's matches against Argentina and Australia after the Harlequins prop pleaded guilty to striking Wasps' Will Rowlands with his forearm during his side's loss in Coventry last weekend.

Meanwhile Wasps No 8 Nathan Hughes was handed a two-week ban for striking Smith on the neck in Sunday's Champions Cup win over Harlequins but he will be available for the Pumas clash on November 11.

England then face Australia and Samoa on successive weekends at Twickenham.

England squad:

Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins) Elliot Daly (Wasps) Jonny May (Leicester) Denny Solomona (Sale) Anthony Watson (Bath), Danny Care (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester) Piers Francis (Northampton), Jonathan Joseph (Bath), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Henry Slade (Exeter) Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester).

Forwards: Tom Curry (Sale), Charlie Ewels (Bath), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Zach Mercer (Bath), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Sam Simmonds (Exeter), Sam Underhill (Bath), Dan Cole (Leicester), Tom Dunn (Bath), Ellis Genge (Leicester), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter).

Agence France-Presse