By Thomas Branston
England boss Eddie Jones has announced a modified squad that will tour Argentina over two tests this summer during June and the Australian names 15 uncapped players in the 31-man squad.
Dylan Hartley will lead the side, despite missing out on what could be his final chance of making the British and Irish Lions squad on their tour to New Zealand this summer. However his inclusion in Jones’ plans will rule out the hooker’s chances of being available on a reserves list for the Lions.
The side includes controversial rugby league convert Denny Solomana, who, was born in New Zealand and has represented Samoa in rugby league. However, Solomana qualifies through residency rules and has had a storming first season in the Aviva Premiership with strugglers Sale Sharks. The 23-year-old has scored 9 tries in 11 appearances this season.
Jones includes an uncapped contingent of 15 who will look to impress, with 16 first team regulars missing due to the Lions tour of New Zealand. Will Collier, Ben Curry, Tom Curry, Nick Isiekwe, Harry Mallinder, Sam Underhill, Harry Williams, Joe Cokanasiga, Nathan Earle, Piers Francis, Sam James, Joe Marchant, Jack Maunder and Denny Solomana are those that will look to implement a regular place in Jones’ squad leading up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Will Collier – 25 yo – Tighthead Prop – 15 appearances for Harlequins this season.
Ben Curry – 18 yo – Blindside Flanker – 15 appearances for Sale Sarks this season.
Tom Curry – 18 yo – Openside Flanker – 13 appearances for Sale Sharks this season.
Nick Isiekwe – 19yo – Lock – 1 appearance for Saracens this season.
Harry Mallinder – 20 yo – Fly Half – 19 appearances for Northampton Saints this season.
Sam Underhill – 20 yo – Openside Flanker – 10 appearances for Ospreys this season.
Harry Williams – 25 yo – Loosehead Prop – 16 appearances for Exeter Chiefs this season
Joe Cokanasiga – 19 yo – Right Wing – 11 appearances for London Irish this season
Nathan Earle – 21 yo – Left Wing – 0 appearances for parent club Saracens this season on loan to Canterbury (New Zealand – 10 appearances).
Piers Francis – 26 yo – Fly Half – 19 appearances for Auckland Blues this season.
Sam James – 22 y0 – Inside Centre – 24 appearances for Sale Sharks this season.
Joe Marchant – 20 yo – Outside Centre – 18 appearances for Harlequins this season.
Jack Maunder – 20 yo – Scrum Half – 8 appearances for Exeter Chiefs this season.
Alongside the 15 uncapped players Jones has also called on the experience in the side with Lions casualties, Joe Launchbury, James Haskell, Chris Robshaw and Mike Brown, who were all left out of Warren Gatland’s squad.
Flanker Sam Underhill and fly-half Piers Francis who will join Bath and Northampton respectively will tour this summer before they have joined their new clubs.
There was no place for the Aviva Premiership’s top try-scorer Christian Wade nor Bath wing Semesa Rokoduguni with the pairs exclusion being particularly bizarre, however the mixture of youth Jones has chosen is inviting.
The squad will play two Tests on the tour, beginning at Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario, San Juan on Saturday 10 June and Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao Lopez, Sante Fe, a week later on 17 June.
Forwards | Will Collier (Harlequins, uncapped), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, uncapped), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, uncapped), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 3 caps), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap), Dylan Hartley (c)(Northampton Saints, 84 caps), James Haskell (Wasps, 75 caps), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints, 5 caps), Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 8 caps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, uncapped), Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 42 caps), Matt Mullan (Wasps, 15 caps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 55 caps), Sam Underhill (Ospreys/Bath Rugby, uncapped), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 50 caps)
Backs | Mike Brown – (vc )(Harlequins, 60 caps), Danny Care – (vc) (Harlequins, 71 caps), Joe Cokanasiga (London Irish, uncapped), Nathan Earle (Saracens, uncapped), George Ford – (vc) (Bath Rugby, 35 caps), Piers Francis (Auckland Blues/Northampton Saints, uncapped), Sam James (Sale Sharks, uncapped), Alex Lozowski (Saracens, uncapped), Harry Mallinder (Northampton Saints, uncapped), Joe Marchant (Harlequins, uncapped), Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 25 caps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks, uncapped)