STUART LANCASTER has had his hand forced as he brings in three centres and a flanker for the upcoming QBE Internationals.
With Brad Barritt and Manu Tuilagi out for the duration of the Test series and with so many players in form it is no surprise that the coach has called up three differing uncapped centres, with Luther Burrell of Northampton Saints, Henry Trinder of Gloucester and Joel Tomkins of Saracens coming in, with Burrell seen as injury cover.
Exeter Chiefs’ Tom Johnson also sees his fine form rewarded with a spot in the squad, replacing Tom Croft who has a serious knee injury.
Talking at the aanouncement, Lancaster said: “Inevitably there have been some injuries and there is still a big European weekend ahead. But injures always create opportunities and we are pleased to call up Tom Johnson, Joel Tomkins, Henry Trinder and Luther Burrell into the Senior EPS, with Luther joining us as injury cover so it will be great for him to come in and put a marker down in what is going to be a competitive selection leading into the Australia game.
“We have three major Tests ahead of us and we are looking forward to the challenge.”
England Elite Player Squad for QBE Internationals
Forwards David Attwood (Bath Rugby) Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers) Alex Corbisiero (Northampton Saints) Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs) Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints) Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby) Joe Launchbury (London Wasps) Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints) Joe Marler (Harlequins) Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby) Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers) Chris Robshaw (Harlequins) Billy Vunipola (Saracens) Mako Vunipola (Saracens) David Wilson (Bath Rugby) Tom Wood (Northampton Saints) Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Backs Chris Ashton (Saracens) Mike Brown (Harlequins) Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby) Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints) Danny Care (Harlequins) Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints) Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby) Owen Farrell (Saracens) Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers) Ben Foden (Northampton Saints) Alex Goode (Saracens) Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby) Joel Tomkins (Saracens) Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby) Christian Wade (London Wasps) Marland Yarde (London Irish) Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)