"Debut Bound?" - The Seven Uncapped Players in Steve Borthwick's England Training Squad for Summer Tour - Page 2 of 3 - Ruck

“Debut Bound?” – The Seven Uncapped Players in Steve Borthwick’s England Training Squad for Summer Tour

3. Fin Baxter (Harlequins)

Fin Baxter of Harlequins during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Harlequins and Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham Stoop, London on Sunday 22nd October 2023 (PHOTO: George Beck/PPAUK)

The front row protégé who continues to come into his own, Fin Baxter has been steadily plying his trade with Harlequins under the watchful and raised eyebrows of England prop Joe Marler. The loose-head has said time and again how impressed he has been by Baxter’s eagerness to learn and hone his craft, with the 22-year-old picked by many as Marler’s successor for when he calls it a day in the England jersey.

Baxter is comfortably amongst the top young props in the Premiership, and is able to hold his own when going toe-to-toe against the league’s grizzled tight-heads. The likes of Dan Cole and Kyle Sinckler have both been well matched by Baxter’s power and astute technical abilities at scrum-time, with Baxter now given his chance to impress in an England camp and book his spot on the planes to Japan and New Zealand.

4. Gabriel Oghre (Bristol Bears)

Gabriel Oghre of Bristol Bears during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Leicester Tigers and Bristol Bears at Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium, Leicester on 27 April 2024. Photo: James Whitehead/PPAUK

Joining Baxter in the upcoming England scrum sessions at Pennyhill Park, Gabriel Oghre comes into the fold to test his metal as a future England test match hooker. Borthwick has established quite a solid pecking order for the number two jersey, with his captain Jamie George firmly stamped on to the starting spot. Young Saracens star Theo Dan only continues to progress, and has taken up the role of match-finishing understudy to his club and country captain.

Oghre comes into the fray to jostle for position against the two Saracens, and cause some selection headaches for Borthwick and scrum coach Tom Harrison. The Bristol front rower knows his way to the try line with six scores this season, and boasts an accurate dart from the side-line to pick out his lifted jumper with ease. Oghre’s x-factor is his ability to play in the back-row, and this added versatility could well prove to be a useful asset when the fatigue of a tour begins to set-in for the England players.

5. Guy Pepper (Newcastle Falcons)

Guy Pepper of Newcastle Falcons during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Bath Rugby and Newcastle Falcons at the Recreation Ground on 14 October 2023. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

The hard-hitting Newcastle Falcons back-row was recently on the cusp of a test match debut, and will be looking to go that one step further than the recent 2024 Six Nations. Pepper is not a stranger to a call up for the red rose, as he has previously been amongst the England U20s scene and made his England A debut last March against Portugal. Pepper was joined by his fellow Falcon Jamie Blamire, for the 91-5 landslide which swept through Welford Road.

After such an impressive outing against Portugal, Steve Borthwick gave Pepper the nod to join in with the preparations for the final week of the 2024 Six Nations. The back-row battled it out with the likes of Ollie Chessum, Ben Earl and Sam Underhill, before sending the senior squad on their way to France for the narrow 33-31 defeat. Pepper has long been a name that England fans have been calling out for, with a fanbase not limited to the most northern club in the Premiership.