12 Jan 2012

England coach names Six Nations squad

6:21 am on 12 January 2012

Mike Tindall, Nick Easter and Mark Cueto were omitted from England's 32-man elite rugby squad on as caretaker coach Stuart Lancaster included a raft of new faces to set about the defence of the Six Nations championship.

After the recent international retirements of Jonny Wilkinson, Lewis Moody and Steve Thompson, his omission represents the final severing of any link with the 2003 World Cup-winning team.

In all there were nine uncapped players, four who have one cap and 13 changes from the World Cup campaign that ended with a quarter-final defeat by France.

Among the uncapped arrivals were Owen Farrell, son of former international and current assistant coach Andy and Ben Morgan, the Scarlets number eight who turned down an approach from Wales.

Also new are Lee Dickson, Jordan Turner-Hall, Phil Dowson, Calum Clark, Joe Marler, Brad Barritt and Rob Webber.

Flankers Tom Wood and Chris Robshaw, who has one cap, are widely considered to be vying for the captaincy but Lancaster says he will make that decision nearer the first match.

Several of the new faces are expected to start England's first match of the championship away to Scotland on February the 4th which first five Toby Flood, the squad's most-capped player with 46, could miss through injury.

Also cut from the squad who travelled to New Zealand were backs Delon Armitage, Matt Banahan and Shontayne Hape and forwards James Haskell and Simon Shaw, who both took themselves out of contention by joining overseas clubs.

Half-back Danny Care, who missed the World Cup through injury, was left out of the squad for the Six Nations as punishment for a drink-driving offence.

Locks Dave Attwood Geoff Parling, fullback Alex Goode and centre Henry Trinder will join the elite squad as temporary injury replacements for Flood, Courtney Lawes, Louis Deacon and Manu Tuilagi, who are all set to miss the start of the Six Nations.