April 20, 2017 / 9:21 AM / 9 months ago

Jones includes 15 uncapped players for Argentina tour

LONDON (Reuters) - Shorn of 16 men selected for the British and Irish Lions, England coach Eddie Jones on Thursday named 15 uncapped players in his 31-man squad for the two-test tour of Argentina in June.

Dylan Hartley, beaten to Lions selection by his England understudy Jamie George, will captain the side with support from experienced vice-captains Mike Brown, Danny Care and George Ford.

A core of other experienced players, including James Haskell, Joe Launchbury, Jonny May and former captain Chris Robshaw, are also included but overall there will be a very unfamiliar look to the squad when they assemble in London on May 29.

In the pack, props Will Collier and Harry Williams are included with second-row Nick Isiekwe and back-row forwards Sam Underhill as well as brothers Ben and Tom Curry.

In the backs, scrumhalf Jack Maunder receives his first senior call-up alongside flyhalf Piers Francis, backs Alex Lozowski and Harry Mallinder, centres Joe Marchant, and Sam James as well as wings Denny Solomona, Nathan Earle and Joe Cokanasiga.

Jones has made a number of enforced changes to the coaching set-up to compensate for Steve Borthwick’s absence on the Lions tour. The Australian, a former hooker, will take responsibility of the forwards, supported by scrum coach Neal Hatley.

Defence coach Paul Gustard adds the line-out and kick-off to his coaching remit and former Australia back Glen Ella, who previously toured with England in Australia in 2016, will link-up again as attack coach, supported by skills coach Rory Teague.

“We have picked the best squad we have available and we are looking forward to going to Argentina and winning 2-0,” said Jones.

”There are a few new faces in the set-up so every training session and team meeting will count.  “The Pumas are a physically aggressive side and they have become very good at playing unstructured rugby; we need to make sure we control the structural part of the game and our defence will play an absolutely crucial role.”

England play the first test in San Juan on June 10 and the second in Sante Fe a week later.

Forwards: Will Collier (Harlequins), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Dylan Hartley (captain, Northampton Saints),James Haskell (Wasps), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Sam Underhill (Ospreys/Bath Rugby), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)

Backs: Mike Brown (vice-captain, Harlequins), Danny Care (vice captain, Harlequins), Joe Cokanasiga (London Irish), Nathan Earle (Saracens), George Ford (vice captain, Bath Rugby), Piers Francis (Auckland Blues/Northampton Saints), Sam James (Sale Sharks), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Harry Mallinder (Northampton Saints), Joe Marchant (Harlequins), Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks).

Editing by: Amlan Chakraborty

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