England rugby squad: The winners and losers
New England head coach Steve Borthwick has named his first squad since replacing Eddie Jones last month.
Here we look at the winners and losers in the 36-man England rugby squad chosen for the Six Nations 2023.
Elliot Daly, back, Saracens
Frozen out since the 2022 Six Nations, Daly has made a lightning start to the current club season and is rewarded with a recall by Borthwick. His ability to cover centre, wing and full-back increases his value to any squad.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) January 14, 2023
Dan Cole, prop, Leicester
Cole won the last of his 95 caps in the 2019 World Cup final, paying the price for England’s scrum being taken apart by South Africa. Now 35, the Lions tighthead’s set-piece expertise is seen as an asset to be used.
Ben Earl, flanker, Saracens
To widespread bafflement, the reigning Premiership player of the year was dropped by Jones in 2021 and has not had a look in since. Strong over the ball, hard-working and influential in attack and defence, he is back in the England rugby squad and sure to be involved.
FT: Saracens 48-28 Lyon
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) January 14, 2023
Billy Vunipola, number eight, Saracens
Reinstated for the July tour to Australia and performed well, especially in the second Test, but was ineffectual during the autumn. Offers something unique to English rugby in his position, but Borthwick is looking elsewhere.
Jack Nowell, wing, Exeter
At his best Nowell is a tackle-busting force for club and country, but he has lost long spells of his career to injury. Despite regaining fitness, his form has been unspectacular and one of Jones’ vice-captains has now been frozen out.
Jonny May, wing, Gloucester
England’s second-highest tryscorer has suffered a blow in his race to eclipse Rory Underwood’s record. Devastating when on song but has faced a year of injury problems and suffered a serious dose of Covid in 2022.
England rugby squad for Six Nations 2023
Forwards: O Chessum (Leicester), D Cole (Leicester), B Curry (Sale), A Dombrandt (Harlequins), B Earl (Saracens), E Genge (Bristol), J George (Saracens), J Heyes (Leicester), J Hill (Sale), N Isiekwe (Saracens), M Itoje (Saracens), C Lawes (Northampton), L Ludlam (Northampton), G McGuigan (Gloucester), B Rodd (Sale), S Simmonds (Exeter), K Sinckler (Bristol), M Vunipola (Saracens), J Walker (Harlequins), J Willis (Toulouse).
Backs: E Daly (Saracens), O Farrell (Saracens), T Freeman (Northampton), O Hassell-Collins (London), D Kelly (Leicester), M Malins (Saracens), J Marchant (Harlequins), A Mitchell (Northampton), C Murley (Harlequins), H Slade (Exeter), F Smith (Northampton), M Smith (Harlequins), F Steward (Leicester), M Tuilagi (Sale), J van Poortvliet (Leicester), B Youngs (Leicester).
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