Find out which players Eddie Jones has picked to take on the Springboks in a three-Test series in June
Eddie Jones has made three injury-enforced changes to his 34-man England squad for the three-Test tour of South Africa in June.
Uncapped Gloucester full-back Jason Woodward, Northampton playmaker Piers Francis and Wasps No 8 Nathan Hughes come in for Cameron Redpath (knee), Ben Te’o (quad) and Jack Willis (knee).
The headline selection in the squad is Danny Cipriani, who is in line to win his first cap for three years. 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 seven uncapped players in the squad. The others are Woodward, back-rower Ben Earl (Saracens), lock Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs), scrum-halves Dan Robson (Wasps) and Ben Spencer (Saracens) and wing Nathan Earle (Saracens).
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 Test 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), Piers Francis (Northampton Saints), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Dan Robson (Wasps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks), Ben Spencer (Saracens), Jason Woodward (Gloucester), 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), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), 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), Mark Wilson (Newcastle).
Before the official squad was named, 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.