Find out which players Eddie Jones has picked to take on the Springboks in a three-Test series in June
The Wasps fly-half played the last of his 14 Tests for England in a Word Cup warm-up match against France in August 2015 but has been rewarded for his strong recent form for the Aviva Premiership semi-finalists.
Hurricanes flanker Brad Shields, who is joining Wasps next season, has also been selected having been released by New Zealand Rugby. The NZR described the decision to not enforce the oblications of Shields’s contract to only play for New Zealand teams as “special exception”.
NZR head of professional rugby Chris Lendrum was also critical of the RFU, saying: “We are extremely disappointed that the RFU chose to take this unusual step in seeking this release given that Brad has not yet played rugby in England.”
Shields is one of eight uncapped players in the squad. The others are back-rowers Ben Earl (Saracens) and Jack Willis (Wasps), lock Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs), scrum-halves Dan Robson (Wasps) and Ben Spencer (Saracens), wing Nathan Earle (Saracens) and teenager Sale centre Cameron Redpath, who is the son of former Scotland captain Bryan.
With Dylan Hartley ruled out of the tour with concussion, Owen Farrell will captain the team.
Four payers have also been rested: Danny Care, Dan Cole, James Haskell and Richard Wigglesworth.
England head to South Africa on the back of three straight defeats and a fifth-placed finish in the Six Nations. They face the Springboks on 9, 16 and 23 June in Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Cape Town, with matches televised live on Sky Sports.
England last won a Test in South Africa in 2000 and Jones says: “We have an opportunity to create some history next month and win the Test series, something no England side has done before.
“We will need to be physically aggressive and tactically smart against the Springboks who we know will be combative and reinvigorated by their new coaching set-up.”
Jones has also appointed Scott Wisemantel as an ‘attack consultant’ for the tour. The 48-year-old Australian was recently working with Jake White, who had Jones among his back-room staff when South Africa won the 2007 World Cup, at Montpellier.
ENGLAND’S TOUR SQUAD
Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Cipriani (Wasps), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Nathan Earle (Saracens), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks), Dan Robson (Wasps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks), Ben Spencer (Saracens), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).
Forwards: Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Ben Earl (Saracens), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Brad Shields (Hurricanes/ Wasps), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Jack Willis (Wasps), Mark Wilson (Newcastle).
There will be a few different faces training with England in Brighton next week ahead of the Barbarians game at Twickenham at the end of May, with those involved in the Premiership semi-finals obviously not taking part.
Those include backs Joe Cokanasiga, Ben Loader, Jason Woodward, Piers Francis, Ollie Lawrence, Marcus Smith and Ben Vellacott, and forwards Josh Beaumont, Tom Ellis, Teimana Harrison, Josh McNally, Zach Mercer, Jono Ross, Elliott Stooke, Paul Hill, George McGuigan, Beno Obano, Nick Schonert and Jack Singleton.
Last week Ali Stokes picked a 32-man squad to face South Africa – click onto page 2 to see how close he was to the squad Eddie Jones has selected.