11 Jun 2024

Six uncapped players in England squad to tour New Zealand

7:15 am on 11 June 2024
England head coach Steve Borthwick

England head coach Steve Borthwick Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Steve Borthwick has included six uncapped players in his 36-man squad for England's three-test tour of Japan and New Zealand.

Fin Baxter (Harlequins), Gabriel Oghre (Bristol Bears), Joe Carpenter (Sale Sharks) Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks), Luke Northmore (Harlequins) and Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints) -- the Premiership's top scorer this season and son of former England winger Jon -- were all named in the squad announced by Borthwick on Monday.

Newly-crowned Premiership champions Northampton have seven players in the squad, including six of their exciting backline.

The squad, captained by Jamie George and made up of 20 forwards and 16 backs, will train at Twickenham on Tuesday before flying to Tokyo on Wednesday.

England play Japan in Tokyo on 22 June then New Zealand in Dunedin on 6 July and again in Auckland on 13 July. "The summer series presents a valuable opportunity for the continued development of this squad and is a demanding challenge to conclude the season," said Borthwick.

"With the changes in climate, playing conditions, and contrasting styles of rugby from the two opponents we face, we will be challenged on and off the field.

"Historically New Zealand is not a place England have had much success, but we are determined to change that. The players know that they will need to be mentally strong and tactically smart if we are to get the result we want."

George Ford will miss the tour through injury, leaving Marcus Smith and Fin Smith to fight it out for the flyhalf shirt, with fullback George Furbank also able to cover the position.

Ben Spencer, whose impressive displays helped take Bath to the Premiership final, is one of three scrumhalves alongside Alex Mitchell and Harry Randall, as Jack van Poortvliet misses out.

Flanker Tom Curry, who has played only 36 minutes this season after hip surgery, is included alongside twin brother and Sale team mate Ben.

England play Japan on 22 June, followed by games against New Zealand in Dunedin on 6 July and Auckland 13 July.

England's 36-player squad

Forwards: Fin Baxter (Harlequins, uncapped) Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 112 caps) Alex Coles (Northampton Saints, 5 caps) Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins, 4 caps) Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, 5 caps) Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 50 caps) Theo Dan (Saracens, 12 caps) Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 17 caps) Ben Earl (Saracens, 30 caps) Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 30 caps) Jamie George (Saracens, 90 caps) captain Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 7 caps) Maro Itoje (Saracens, 81 caps) Joe Marler (Harlequins, 93 caps) George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 12 caps) Gabriel Oghre (Bristol Bears, uncapped) Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 5 caps) Ethan Roots (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps) Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 38 caps) Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 35 caps) Backs: Joe Carpenter (Sale Sharks, uncapped) Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, 2 caps) Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter Chiefs, 3 caps) Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, 8 caps) George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 9 caps) Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 24 caps) Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 15 caps) Luke Northmore (Harlequins, uncapped) Harry Randall (Bristol Bears, 6 caps) Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks, uncapped) Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 62 caps) Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints, uncapped) Fin Smith (Northampton Saints, 2 caps) Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 32 caps) Ben Spencer (Bath Rugby, 5 caps) Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 33 caps).

- Reuters