EDDIE JONES MAKES MAJOR SQUAD CHANGES FOR TRAINING CAMP
England rugby choach Eddie Jones has made a major shake-up in his team by leaving out a host of big name players for a training camp later this month.
Billy and Mako Vunipola, Jamie George and George Ford have all been left out of the 45-man squad.
Eight uncapped players are named they including Harlequins wing Louis Lynagh and 31-year-old Gloucester centre Mark Atkinson.
Jones stressed “the door isn’t closed” for those players not involved”.
Nine players who made their debuts in the summer, such as fly-half Marcus Smith, are also included as Jones looks to the future with the next World Cup two years away.
As was the case halfway through the last World Cup cycle, when Jones began to phase out the likes of Dylan Hartley, Chris Robshaw, James Haskell, Mike Brown and Danny Care, the England head coach has started the process of improving his squad with the tournament in France in 2023 in mind.
“We have left out some experienced players but we’re really clear that the door isn’t closed to them, and we’re looking forward to seeing them work hard to get back into contention,” Jones said.
However Ford’s exclusion does paves the way for Smith, who was called into the British and Irish Lions squad in South Africa, to get an extended run at fly-half this autumn.
An experienced core retained in place which including the 109-capped scrum-half Ben Youngs, while prop Joe Marler has again made himself available having not featured in 2021.