Saturday 29 April 2017

Dylan Hartley IN as England Six Nations squad revealed

England's coach Eddie Jones, left, with captain Dylan Hartley
England's coach Eddie Jones, left, with captain Dylan Hartley
Northampton’s controversial skipper Dylan Hartley will typify their physical approach. Photo: Reuters

England have named Leicester prop Ellis Genge in their squad for the 2017 RBS 6 Nations, the Rugby Football Union has announced.

Coach Eddie Jones has included three un-capped players in a squad that includes the controversial Dylan Hartley who is currently suspended for a blatant forearm smash on Leinster's Sean O'Brien.

"This time last year I said that the long-term strategy for England is to develop a side who can be the most dominant team in world rugby," Jones said.

"Obviously I've been pleased with how the team's progressing, but there's still plenty to improve on. We always want to get better, every training session, every game."

Jones confirmed that Hartley would face a fitness test this week, but the hooker is believed to have passed it to ensure he will start the opening Six Nations clash against France in two weeks’ time, providing he avoids any injuries in the build-up.

Jones also recalls a number of regulars who missed the autumn internationals through injury, with James Haskell, Maro Itoje, Anthony Watson and Jack Nowell all included.

"I've been impressed with the three uncapped players named in the squad," Jones said.

"They're all guys who have great physical capabilities and they all have a desire to improve. With a number of injuries to some key players it's a great opportunity for them.

"It's good to welcome back a number of players who weren't with us during the autumn.

"Maro Itoje has done well for his club, as has Jack Nowell. James Haskell was magnificent for England last year and is a fierce player.

"Anthony Watson has been a fine player for England and is one the most prolific try scorers for the number of Tests he has played.

"We are looking forward to those guys coming in and challenging for a spot and adding strength.

"At the start of last year's Six Nations I probably didn't realise the enormity of the tournament and how intense the rivalry is between the countries, so this year we'll be better prepared for it and we are looking forward to being daring in our game against France on 4 February."

More to follow...

Forwards: N Catt (Bath), J Clifford (Harlequins), D Cole (Leicester), C Ewels (Bath), E Genge (Leicester), J George (Saracens), T Harrison (Northampton), D Hartley (Northampton), J Haskell, N Hughes (both Wasps), M Itoje, G Kruis (both Saracens), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton), J Marler (Harlequins), M Mullan (Wasps), K Sinckler (Harlequins), T Taylor (Wasps), M Williams (Leicester), T Wood (Northampton).

Backs: M Brown, D Care (both Harlequins), E Daly (Wasps), O Farrell (Saracens), G Ford, J Joseph (Bath), A Lozowski (Saracens), J May (Gloucester), J Nowell, H Slade (both Exeter), B Te'o (Worcester), A Watson (Bath), M Yarde (Harlequins), B Youngs (Leicester).

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