England include 6 uncapped players for Japan, New Zealand tour

Sports

Steve Borthwick has included six uncapped players in his England squad for the Summer Series matches against Japan and New Zealand, it was announced on Monday.

Fin Baxter, Gabriel Oghre, Joe Carpenter, Tom Roebuck, Ollie Sleightholme and Luke Northmore all made the 36-player squad, while Tom Curry returned to the national team setup despite having only played 34 minutes of rugby since the 2023 World Cup owing to a difficult recovery from a hip injury.

Curry returned to competitive action in Sale’s Premiership semifinal defeat to Bath earlier in June, while Sleightholme, who plays for the league-winning Northampton Saints, finished the domestic season as the Premiership’s leading try scorer.

England confirmed that experienced fly-half George Ford will miss the upcoming tour to recover from an Achilles injury on Sunday.

Jamie George captains the side for the summer games, the first of which takes place against Japan and England’s former head coach Eddie Jones in Tokyo on June 22, before making the trip to Dunedin to play New Zealand on July 6. The series concludes with a second Test against the All Blacks on July 13 in Auckland.

“The Summer Series presents a valuable opportunity for the continued development of this squad and is a demanding challenge to conclude the season,” Borthwick said. “For some of the younger players, it will be their first time touring abroad with England.

“Travelling together is a great way to build closer bonds and provides an important opportunity for new players to settle into our environment.

“New Zealand’s home record is well documented, and we face a team who came within one point of winning a World Cup. Historically it 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.”

England’s Summer Series 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)

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