Tizard, Coles, Pearson, Ribbans, Schickerling and Dingwall in
Tuilagi returns after missing Australia tour in the summer
It is 348 days until England begin their World Cup campaign against Argentina. That sounds stark, and should signify that the home straight has arrived. Yes, this is only a training squad, but some omissions feel more significant than others, while the inclusion of Saracens lock Hugh Tizard is a nod to the future.
Kyle Sinckler would appear to be the headline casualty, with Joe Marler, Joe Launchbury, Henry Slade and Elliot Daly also out in the cold. Danny Care, Harry Randall and Joe Marchant have been dropped from the squad that toured Australia, too.
As ever, Eddie Jones has said that the door remains open. Even so, members of this group will be nervous for their prospects of making next year’s tournament. Conversely, the inclusions of Ben Youngs and Manu Tuilagi reinforce their importance to Jones.
Alex Dombrandt and Anthony Watson are named on an injured list, so they are still in the thoughts of the England head coach, as are Maro Itoje and Courtney Lawes, missing due to ailments that are not thought to be too serious.
In the absence of this latter pair, there is something of a lock-off. Dave Ribbans and Alex Coles, a pair of contrasting Northampton Saints, come in for Jones to have a look. Ribbans is a big bopper, while Coles is mobile and rangy. He thrives in Northampton’s sweeping phase-play and scored against Leicester Tigers at the weekend.
Tizard is another uncapped tight-five forward. One would not normally pinpoint the selection of a second-row forward as a progressive step for a team’s attacking potential. Then again, Tizard is not an average lock.
While it may have been accelerated by the absences of Charlie Ewels and new clubmate Nick Isiekwe, his inclusion is an exciting step for England. It is no exaggeration to say that the 22-year-old could storm into the first-team shake-up very quickly.
Saracens secured his services towards the beginning of last season and will have watched his value rocket over a farewell campaign with Harlequins. He is an exceptional handler who distributes deftly on the gain-line. New colleagues were genuinely startled by his composure on the gain-line during pre-season drills.
Tizard is stocky rather than springy as far as locks go – think Joe Launchbury rather than Itoje – and Mark McCall has spoken of his untapped potential as a line-out forward. England coaches can help him learn on the job in this regard. Jones’ penchant for picking Lawes at blindside flanker means there will not be huge pressure on him to be a go-to target in Test matches straightaway.
The up-side he can offer to England’s phase-play by carrying and slipping passes, both pull-backs and flats pops, is large.
Elsewhere, Jack Willis and Tom Pearson are preferred to Ben Earl among a back-row contingent that also features Tom Curry, Lewis Ludlam, Sam Simmonds – despite his Montpellier move – and Billy Vunipola.
Alex Mitchell joins Jack van Poortvliet for an interesting scrum-half face-off. Without either Daly or Slade, the inside centre options would appear to be either Tuilagi or Owen Farrell. Guy Porter, Fraser Dingwall and Will Joseph are the outside centres to be retained from July.
Pondering the style of play that England may impart against Argentina, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa is a step too far at this stage, but direct and abrasive with a sprinkling of deception thanks to big men tipping passes would be a decent foundation.
Jones: Marchant has work to do to return
By Ben Coles
Eddie Jones had left the door open for several players to return to England's squad for the autumn but described Joe Marchant's tour of Australia as "disappointing", adding that the Harlequins back has "some work to do on his game".
Marchant was one of three players selected for the tour of Australia who have not been included for England's three-day training camp this Sunday, along with scrum-halves Danny Care and Harry Randall.
Addressing Care's early substitution in the third Test, when Care was replaced by Jack van Poortvliet after 36 minutes, Jones insisted that rugby needs to move away from "negative language" suggesting Care had been pulled off early.
"Well let's get something right, we didn't pull him off," Jones said. "The game of rugby – and we've got to change our thinking here guys – the game of rugby is for 80 minutes for 23 players. That's why we name 23 players.
"We had a plan for that game. If we used that sort of negative language, we might as well not have a squad of 23. Danny was taken off at the appropriate time, he did a great job for us. He just started playing again yesterday and we want him to find his form with Harlequins."
Injuries for the camp to Courtney Lawes and Maro Itoje are not serious – Jones added both would be fit for the autumn – but have led to two new locks being called up for the first time in Northampton's Alex Coles and Saracens' Hugh Tizard.
"Both of those guys have got opportunities because of the fact we've been watching them closely over the last couple of seasons," Jones said. "It's not just based on three games, we've been looking for another big lock with [Nick] Isiekwe injured and Tizard is a strong player, a physical player who did well for Quins last season and the season before. Coles is a six/four type player, good line-out player, carries pretty well, defends well, so very much a similar sort of player to Courtney Lawes."
Kyle Sinckler and Henry Slade's omission are designed so that both players can continue getting some "good, consistent training" with their clubs, while Wasps' Joe Launchbury requires "game fitness and form", according to Jones. There was no word on Elliot Daly, left out of the squad despite starting the season well for Saracens.
Building towards the autumn, Jones stressed that getting England's players well-equipped to cope with unstructured play, given the number of cards and head injury assessments now taking place in Tests, was a priority.
"Probably 25 per cent of the game now is uncontrollable, through sin-bins, HIAs and uneven numbers in the game. The game becomes completely different… we need to be able to adapt from our game to the game that’s going to be played in that [uncontrollable] time," Jones explained. "That’s hard to do because there are not too many teams in the world who can do it. In fact I can’t name one at the moment. So there’s a great opportunity for us."
England squad announcement: as it happened
More from Jones - 'Door is still open'
“It doesn’t mean that those who have been left out won’t be considered for the Autumn Nations Series matches. We’ll be looking at club games, form and fitness and the door is left open for those players.
“We finished the Australia tour well. It was a fantastic experience, particularly for the younger players. We now have to start again, but we’ll build on what we’ve done there and continue that momentum.”
Thoughts of Eddie Jones
“With a year to go to the Rugby World Cup, this is a big opportunity for players to come in and impress. We want them to show real energy and enthusiasm and that they want to be a part of this massive year.”
No place for Care, Marchant or Randall
By Ben Coles
Maro Itoje and Courtney Lawes are missing from England's 36-player squad for their three-day training camp this weekend due to injury, while Danny Care, Joe Marchant and Harry Randall have all been dropped from England's summer tour squad to Australia.
Dombrandt is unavailable while rehabilitating a hamstring injury, with Harlequins adding they expect him to return to fitness in time for the autumn Tests.
Itoje made his season debut for Saracens in the win over Harlequins on September 17, but was not selected for last Saturday's victory over Gloucester.
There are recalls for Manu Tuilagi and Sam Simmonds, who both missed the Australia tour through injury, while locks Alex Coles (Northampton) and Hugh Tizard (Saracens) are both called up for the first time.
Notable omissions from the squad include prop Kyle Sinckler, lock Joe Launchbury, utility back Elliot Daly and centre Henry Slade.
Other uncapped players who have been called up by England in the past include David Ribbans, Patrick Schickerling, Jack Walker and Fraser Dingwall.
Longer-term injuries missing from the squad as expected include George Ford, Charlie Ewels and Sam Underhill, with Alfie Barbeary, Nic Dolly, Sam Jeffries, Nick Isiekwe and Anthony Watson also listed as unavailable for selection due to injury.
The following players have not been considered for selection due to injury. The fact they have been mentioned by name at this juncture though suggests all remain fully at the forefront of Jones' mind.
And behind the scrum
Henry Arundell (London Irish, 3 caps)
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 12 caps)
Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 97 caps)
Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, 2 caps)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 6 caps)
Will Joseph (London Irish, 1 cap)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 69 caps)
Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 1 cap)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 42 caps)
Guy Porter (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 13 caps)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 13 caps)
Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 46 caps)
Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 3 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 117 caps)
Here it is
Eddie Jones' squad has dropped:
Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 5 caps)
Alex Coles (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 37 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 41 caps)
Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 39 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 69 caps)
Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 5 caps)
Jonny Hill (Sale Sharks, 15 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 14 caps)
Tom Pearson (London Irish, uncapped)
David Ribbans (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 2 caps)
Patrick Schickerling (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped)
Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 14 caps)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 23 caps)
Hugh Tizard (Saracens, uncapped)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 64 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 70 caps)
Jack Walker (Harlequins, uncapped)
Jack Willis (Wasps, 4 caps)
After missing the tour of Australia this summer, Manu Tuilagi has been back in Sale Sharks shirt at the start of this season. Is he about to get an England recall?
Who caught the eye?
Ahead of Eddie Jones' announcement later this morning, catch-up on who impressed our Telegraph Sport rugby reporters in the Gallagher Premiership this weekend.
With the autumn internationals now growing steadily larger on the horizon, the spotlight will be firmly on Eddie Jones this morning as he reveals his 36-man squad for a three-day England training camp starting later this week.
It is important to note that this is NOT the squad for the autumn internationals themselves but there will still be plenty to glean from Jones’ selections, not least clues as to how he is planning to navigate a significant injury list and selection dilemmas posed by the chaos surrounding Worcester and Wasps.
Particular attention will be paid to Jones’ back and second row selections, where the long-term absences of Charlie Ewels, Nick Isiekwe and Sam Underhill, to name just three, leave England looking fairly thin.
Joe Launchbury, Hugh Tizard and Freddie Clarke are some of the names to have been mooted in the second row, while from Nos 6-8 Tom Pearson, Callum Chick and Tom Willis might have their good club form rewarded with a call up.
All will know their good form needs to continue if they are to secure a spot in Jones’ autumn international squad but getting the nod this morning would be the clearest indication yet that they are at the forefront of the coach’s mind.
In the back line, Henry Slade and Manu Tuilangi are back in contention for selection after both returning for their clubs of late but George Ford continuing absence means he will be unavailable to return until December at the earliest.
Another important player to keep an ear out for is Sam Simmonds. The prolific back rower featured in all five of England’s Six Nations matches earlier this year but has placed his eligibility for the World Cup in doubt after confirming a move to Montpellier.
The RFU does not consider players for selection if they are contracted to clubs outside of the Premiership and it would be no shock to see Jones fielding questions about a potential relaxation of that policy ahead of next summer’s World Cup.