Saints trio named in England's autumn squad

Three Saints players have been named in the England squad for the upcoming autumn fixtures.

David Ribbans
David Ribbans

Lewis Ludlam returns to the international setup after a period of self-isolation, joining lock David Ribbans and full-back George Furbank in the 36-man group.

But there is no place for the likes of Alex Moon, Alex Mitchell, Piers Francis and Fraser Dingwall, who have all been involved with the Red Rose in recent times.

However, that is a help for Saints as they may not be hit as hard by international absences as some other clubs when the new season starts on November 20.

For Ludlam, Ribbans and Furbank though, full focus is now on England for the foreseeable future.

Eddie Jones's side will play their final match of the rescheduled 2020 Guinness Six Nations against Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday, October 31, knowing a bonus-point win could see them lift the trophy.

They will then return to begin their Autumn Nations Cup campaign at Twickenham, where they will play three Quilter Internationals.

England will take on Georgia (Saturday, November 14) and Ireland (Saturday, November 21).

They then face Wales away (Saturday, November 28) before a placing match at home to determine final position in the competition (Sunday, December 6).

England have been in training for the fixtures during October at The Lensbury in Teddington.

The squad includes seven Gallagher Premiership finalists - Exeter Chiefs trio Jonny Hill, Henry Slade and Harry Williams, along with Wasps’ Joe Launchbury, Dan Robson, Jacob Umaga and Jack Willis.

Saints lock Courtney Lawes is unavailable due to injury, as are Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ali Crossdale, Jack Nowell, Manu Tuilagi and Mark Wilson.

Elliot Daly, George Ford and Joe Marler will join up with the squad for reconditioning.

Jones said: “We have to put our best foot forward if we want to win the Six Nations.

"We need to set the tone of the game and we want to put a smile on fans’ faces, a lot of people are enduring hardships and we are grateful for the opportunity to represent England in these difficult times.

“We were obviously disappointed with the postponement of the Barbarians game but we moved to plan B, had a highly competitive training session instead of the match and now we are fully focused on the Italy game and the goal of winning the Six Nations.

“It was a tough squad to pick and I know there are a number of disappointed players that have just missed out. We’ve got a good balance between experience and inexperience.

“With nine players out injured, it does create some opportunities for the younger guys to show what they can do.

"We’re very happy with what we’ve seen in the mini-camps and the Barbarians training week, it’s been really competitive.”

England squad

Backs

Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)

Owen Farrell (Saracens, 83 caps)

George Furbank (Saints, 2 caps)

Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 13 caps)

Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 50 caps)

Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors, uncapped)

Max Malins (Bristol Bears, uncapped)

Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 3 caps)

Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 56 caps)

Dan Robson (Wasps, 2 caps)

Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 29 caps)

Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)

Jacob Umaga (Wasps, uncapped)

Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 43 caps)

Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 99 caps)

Forwards

Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 23 caps)

Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, uncapped)

Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 3 caps)

Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 15 caps)

Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 18 caps)

Jamie George (Saracens, 49 caps)

Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped)

Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors, 1 cap)

Maro Itoje (Saracens, 38 caps)

Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 65 caps)

Lewis Ludlam (Saints, 8 caps)

Beno Obano (Bath Rugby, uncapped)

David Ribbans (Saints, uncapped)

Jack Singleton (Gloucester Rugby, 3 caps)

Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 35 caps)

Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 3 caps)

Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 18 caps)

Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 51 caps)

Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 59 caps)

Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps)

Jack Willis (Wasps, uncapped)