New England head coach ushers in new era with forward-thinking Six Nations squad
ENGLAND head coach Stuart Lancaster has promised an emphasis on pacy, attacking play will be the cornerstone of his new-look side, after ringing the changes in his first elite player squad yesterday.
Interim boss Lancaster (right) selected nine uncapped players, including Saracens pair Owen Farrell and Brad Barritt and Harlequins duo Joe Marler and Jordan Turner-Hall, in the 32-man party, which effectively doubles as the squad for next month’s Six Nations.
Wasps hooker Rob Webber and Northampton trio Lee Dickson, Phil Dowson and Calum Clark, among eight Saints men in the squad, were the others, as Lancaster underlined his determination to plan for the future and, specifically, the 2015 World Cup in England.
“We want to achieve balance in our play,” said Lancaster, who succeeded Martin Johnson last month and hopes to be appointed on a permanent basis following the Six Nations.
“We’ll have a good kicking game, but we want play with intent, with speed, pace and tempo. We’ve got the players to do that. We’re certainly not going to go down the physical size and power route. We’ll have a Plan B for different conditions but ultimately we have players here who can play with pace and we want to use that.”
Alongside the new faces are recalls for in-form Quins stars Chris Robshaw and Mike Brown, Sarries lock Mouritz Botha and Gloucester wing Charlie Sharples. Discarded are veterans Mike Tindall, Nick Easter and Mark Cueto, while Johnson regulars Shontayne Hape and Riki Flutey have been dropped.
NEW FACES | ENGLAND EPS SQUAD
Brad Barritt, centre (Saracens); Owen Farrell, centre/fly-half (Saracens); Lee Dickson, scrum-half (Northampton); Calum Clark, flanker (Northampton); Phil Dowson, No8/flanker (Northampton); Joe Marler, prop (Harlequins); Ben Morgan, No8 (Scarlets); Jordan Turner-Hall, centre (Harlequins); Rob Webber, hooker (Wasps)
Mouritz Botha, lock (Saracens); Charlie Sharples, wing (Gloucester); Chris Robshaw, flanker (Harlequins); Joe Simpson, scrum-half (Wasps)