Former Raiders duo named in Jones’ first England squad

Joe Launchbury (centre) in action for England
Joe Launchbury (centre) in action for England
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FORMER Worthing Raiders Rugby Club duo Joe Marler and Joe Launchbury have been named in Eddie Jones’ first England squad ahead of the 2016 RBS 6 Nations campaign.

The pair, Marler now of Harlequins and Launchbury Wasps, will be in the 33-man squad that meet at Pennyhill Park on January, 24 to prepare for their opening match against Scotland in Edinburgh on February, 6.

Jones has named a number of uncapped players to the England senior setup. Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks), Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Ollie Devoto (Bath Rugby), Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints), and Maro Itoje (Saracens) are all included.

There are call ups for Chris Ashton (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints) and Marland Yarde (Harlequins) who missed selection for England’s Rugby World Cup squad earlier this season.

Gloucester Rugby back row forward Matt Kvesic and Exeter Chiefs hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie are also named. Leicester Tigers centre Manu Tuilagi is included in the Elite Player Squad having last played for England in June 2014.

England head coach Jones said: “We have selected a squad of players who we think can go to Murrayfield and win. This is our number one priority, to start with a win, so we have picked a squad which is a mix of experience and potential.

“The long-term strategy for England is to develop a side who can be the most dominant team in world rugby, so we have chosen a lot of new players on the growth we see in them.

“We see these players growing into England players of the future and developing into a side who can be the best in the world. Our aim is to develop a squad where there is depth and competition in every position.

“I have spoken to some of the players who have not been selected. 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.

“There is no such thing as a shut door because of injuries and loss of form. There will always be opportunities to anyone playing consistently well in the Premiership and Europe.”

Englands squad in full: Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Henry Thomas (Bath Rugby), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens); Chris Ashton (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Ollie Devoto (Bath Rugby), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Alex Goode (Saracens), Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Marland Yarde (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

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