By RFU Press Release
January 11 2012
Interim England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster has announced the January 2012 Senior and England Saxons Elite Player Squads. There are 15 changes to the July 2011 senior squad, including first time call-ups for Saracens centres Brad Barritt and Owen Farrell, Northampton Saints duo Lee Dickson and Calum Clark, and Scarlets’ No.8 Ben Morgan.
England announce Senior and Saxons Elite Player Squads
Interim England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster has announced the January 2012 Senior and England Saxons Elite Player Squads.
There are 15 changes to the July 2011 senior squad, including first time call-ups for Saracens centres Brad Barritt and Owen Farrell, Northampton Saints duo Lee Dickson and Calum Clark, and Scarlets’ No.8 Ben Morgan.
Ten changes are allowed in a Rugby World Cup year over and above international retirements (Lewis Moody, Jonny Wilkinson, Steve Thompson) and long-term injuries (Andrew Sheridan and Richard Wigglesworth).
The squad will meet for their pre-RBS 6 Nations training camp on Monday, January 23, and use facilities around the North Leeds area, including West Park Leeds RUFC and weights facilities at the Leeds Rugby Academy at Kirkstall.
Lancaster said: "We are very excited by the make-up of the two squads. Lots of players have been putting their hands up and there were some tough calls to make. However, in line with the selection philosophy about starting new era for English rugby, we have taken the chanceto make changes and give players opportunities to be part of the journey towards 2015.
"We very much see this as a group of 64, with opportunities for the Saxons playing in the forthcoming A internationals to come into the senior squad at any time.
"We have lost some great players who have worn the England shirt with pride and distinction – Lewis, Steve and Jonny – and we should thank them for all they did. Others haven’t been selected for this EPS cycle and I have met them and explained the reasons why as we look for the next player to step up in that position to take us forward.
"We are looking both at the present and just as importantly the future. We wanted to get the right balance in potential and experience and giving us the flexibility to play in different ways. We need to use the upcoming games to build the collective experience and we are confident we have got the right mix to take England forward into this Six Nations and beyond."
Attwood, Goode, Parling and Trinder move up
England Saxons, who face O2 Ireland Wolfhounds at Sandy Park, Exeter on January 28 (17:00) and then Scotland A in Galashiels on February 3 (19:30), have an average age of 24 years, five months, with seven players under 21.
Coached by RFU National Academy coaches Jon Callard and Simon Hardy, the Saxons include 10 players won the Churchill Cup last June as well as Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks), Joe Launchbury (London Wasps) and Jonathan Joseph (London Irish) from the Under 20 squad which reached the final of the IRB Junior World Championship in the same month.
Temporary replacements for Attwood, Goode, Parling and Trinder and injury replacements for Thomas (knee) and Joseph (shoulder) will be announced in due course.
England Senior Elite Player Squad (32)
England Saxons Elite Player Squad (32)
Nick Abendanon (Bath Rugby)