27 May 2014

England name initial squad for three-test series against the All Blacks

7:07 am on 27 May 2014

The recall of Danny Cipriani and the inclusion of seven uncapped players headline Stuart Lancaster's initial England rugby squad to tour New Zealand for next month's three test series.

First-five Cipriani has shown strong form for the Sale Sharks this season and will likely start the first test in Auckland in the absence of Owen Farrell and Stephen Myler who are playing in the Sunday's Premiership final, while George Ford is injured.

Lancaster has also held firm on the RFU's foreign player eligibility rule and has over-looked in-form Toulon number eight Steffon Armitage, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago, although he admitted the door would stay open for next year's World Cup.

Thirty players will fly out tomorrow with those involved in the weekend's Premiership final and Monday's match between an England XV and the Barbarians at Twickenham to be named in a further group that will leave for New Zealand next Tuesday.

The second group of players won't be considered for the first test against the All Blacks in Auckland on June 7th, though they'll be available for the second test in Dunedin on June 14th.

Initial England squad flying to New Zealand:

Loose-head props

Joe Marler (Harlequins)

Matt Mullan (London Wasps)

Tight-head props

Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons)

Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks)

David Wilson (Bath Rugby)


Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)

Joe Gray (Harlequins)

Dave Ward (Harlequins)

Rob Webber (Bath Rugby)


Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby)

Joe Launchbury (London Wasps)

Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)

Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers)

Loose Forwards

James Haskell (London Wasps)

Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs)

Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby)

Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby)

Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)


Danny Care (Harlequins)

Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

First-Five Eights

Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby)

Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks)


Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby)

Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)

Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby)

Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby)

Wings and Fullbacks

Mike Brown (Harlequins)

Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)

Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors)

Marland Yarde (London Irish)