Wednesday 28 September 2016

Youngs, Wood axed as Jones rings the changes

Published 14/01/2016 | 02:30

Eddie Jones has performed radical surgery in naming his first England squad, omitting nine of the World Cup squad: Henry Browne / Reuters
Eddie Jones has performed radical surgery in naming his first England squad, omitting nine of the World Cup squad: Henry Browne / Reuters

England head coach Eddie Jones expects to have Manu Tuilagi available for the final two matches of the Six Nations, but has not given up hope of him returning sooner.

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Tuilagi has been included in Jones' first squad but must prove his fitness after 15 months out with a groin problem.

The 24-year-old centre made his comeback for Leicester last Saturday and will continue to play for his club with a view to appearing against Wales and France.

"At this stage it looks like he will be ready for the Wales game," Jones said.

Jones has performed radical surgery in naming his first England squad, omitting nine of the World Cup squad while recalling Tuilagi, Dylan Hartley and Chris Ashton.

Tom Youngs is the biggest casualty and Tom Wood, Geoff Parling, Rob Webber, Brad Barritt, Nick Easter, David Wilson, Ben Morgan and Richard Wigglesworth are also omitted.

There are seven uncapped players among the 33 in Sam Hill, Josh Beaumont - son of former skipper Bill - Jack Clifford, Elliot Daly, Ollie Devoto, Paul Hill and Maro Itoje.

One player who has survived is Chris Robshaw, who is likely to lose the captaincy to Hartley but is favourite to start at blindside flanker, having served for the past four years at No 7.

Irish Independent

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