BBC Sport Rugby 6 Nations

December 21, 2021
LiveSix Nations: How England

Eddie Jones' first England squad: Who is in and who is out?

Sale forward Josh Beaumont is one of seven uncapped players in England's new-look squad for the Six Nations.

Beaumont, son of former England skipper Bill, is joined by Maro Itoje, Sam Hill, Jack Clifford, Elliot Daly, Ollie Devoto and Paul Hill.

New head coach Eddie Jones also named Dylan Hartley and Chris Ashton in a 33-man squad.

Tom Youngs, Brad Barritt, Tom Wood, Geoff Parling and Danny Cipriani missed out.

Australian Jones, appointed England's first foreign coach in November, wants to "increase the tempo" of England's rugby with players who "express themselves".

'Eddie will use youthful enthusiasm'

Former England centre Jeremy Guscott said he was "surprised" by some of the omissions, but added that Jones was "putting down a marker" for the type of player he wants.

"We've had some big highs, but some even bigger lows, so Eddie will use youthful enthusiasm to get the best out the squad, " said Guscott.

Centre Manu Tuilagi, who last played for England in June 2015, will be considered after the Six Nations opener against Scotland at Murrayfield on 6 February.

He only returned to the Leicester team last week after a 15-month absence with a groin problem.

Northampton flanker Tom Wood was one of the casualties of the new Eddie Jones era

Captain should be 'imposing figure'

Northampton hooker Hartley has been tipped to replace Chris Robshaw as captain, but Jones is not expected to make a decision on the captaincy for about two weeks.

Guscott said his own choice would be to name "all-round" player Joe Launchbury as skipper.

England's 2003 World Cup winner Lewis Moody agreed, saying the captain should be a "younger guy" like Launchbury, a "real athlete and imposing figure".

"It's important, though, that Chris Robshaw is retained, " said Moody. "It'd be incredibly harsh to blame him for everything.

"Jones has chosen players on form and he's not going to be prejudiced by past performances. He's looking for bite-back from his players."

Uncapped Wasps centre Elliot Daly told BBC Radio 5 live that his call-up was a "dream come true"

'The door is not shut for anyone'

Eddie Jones: 'Some disappointed players out there'

Jones replaced Stuart Lancaster, who left his post after England's early exit from the World Cup on home soil in October.

They failed to reach the knockout stages of the competition for the first time, while minnows Japan - under Jones' command - pulled off a major shock by beating South Africa.

Jones said his first England elite performance squad had a mix of "experience and potential" and was chosen with the "number one priority" of beating Scotland in their Six Nations opener.

"We have chosen a lot of new players on the growth we see in them, " said the 55-year-old.

"We see these players developing into a side who can be the best in the world."

Former England, Leicester and Harlequins player Will Greenwood backed Josh Beaumont

Jones told a news conference that he wants to see a "vastly improved" team by the end of the Six Nations, but said fans would not see "some radical new-age rugby".

"No-one plays lovely rugby and comes third, " he said.

He revealed he had spoken to the players not selected, saying: "Naturally they will be disappointed and that is how it should be.

"They know what they need to do to get back into this squad. The door is not shut for anyone."

'Itoje will be a hell of a player'

Flanker Itoje captained England Under-20s to world glory in 2014

The elevation of Sharks number eight Beaumont, 22, was welcomed by Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond, who said: "It dispels the fear that people have to leave to play for England.

"Josh has come through the ranks of the academy and is a credit to everything we're doing at the club."

McCall added: "He makes things happen with the ball; he makes things happen without the ball. He's done that week in, week out for us.

"He gets a lot of attention. He deals with it pretty well, but I wish he didn't get so much attention because sometimes we're quick to blow people up in this country and we've just got to be careful with him.

"He's very young, rugby-wise. He's only had six months of senior rugby."

On the recall of winger Chris Ashton, who last played for England in June 2014, McCall said: "His predatory instincts are still there and always will be."

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