Steve Borthwick Announces Summer Series Squad, Features Six Uncapped Players - Ruck

Steve Borthwick Announces Summer Series Squad, Features Six Uncapped Players

Steve Borthwick has named a 36-player squad for the forthcoming Summer Series which sees England play a Test match against Japan in Tokyo on Saturday 22 June (kick-off 6.50am BST) before embarking on a two-Test tour of New Zealand to take on the All Blacks in Dunedin on Saturday 6 July (kick-off 8.05am BST) and in Auckland on Saturday 13 July (kick-off 8.05am BST).

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Six uncapped players are included in the touring party with Fin Baxter (Harlequins), Gabriel Oghre (Bristol Bears), Joe Carpenter (Sale Sharks) Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks) Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints) and Luke Northmore (Harlequins) all called up.

The squad – which will be captained by Jamie George and is made up of 20 forwards and 16 backs – will train at Twickenham Stadium on Tuesday 11 June before flying to Tokyo the following day to continue preparation.

“The Summer Series presents a valuable opportunity for the continued development of this squad and is a demanding challenge to conclude the season,” said Borthwick.

“For some of the younger players, it will be their first time touring abroad with England. Travelling together is a great way to build closer bonds and provides an important opportunity for new players to settle into our environment.”

“With the changes in climate, playing conditions, and contrasting styles of rugby from the two opponents we face, we will be challenged on and off the field.

“The National Stadium in Tokyo is an incredible venue for Test match rugby, and we will need to be at our very best against a Japanese team who will want to play fast.

“New Zealand’s home record is well documented, and we face a team who came within one point of winning a World Cup.

“Historically it is not a place England have had much success, but we are determined to change that. The players know that they will need to be mentally strong and tactically smart if we are to get the result we want.”

England’s 36-player Summer Series squad.

Fin Baxter (Harlequins, uncapped)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 112 caps)
Alex Coles (Northampton Saints, 5 caps)
Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins, 4 caps)
Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, 5 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 50 caps)
Theo Dan (Saracens, 12 caps)
Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 17 caps)
Ben Earl (Saracens, 30 caps)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 30 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 90 caps) – captain
Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 7 caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 81 caps)
Joe Marler (Harlequins, 93 caps)
George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 12 caps)
Gabriel Oghre (Bristol Bears, uncapped)
Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 5 caps)
Ethan Roots (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 38 caps)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 35 caps)

Joe Carpenter (Sale Sharks, uncapped)
Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, 2 caps)
Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter Chiefs, 3 caps)
Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, 8 caps)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 9 caps)
Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 24 caps)
Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 15 caps)
Luke Northmore (Harlequins, uncapped)
Harry Randall (Bristol Bears, 6 caps)
Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks, uncapped)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 62 caps)
Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Fin Smith (Northampton Saints, 2 caps)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 32 caps)
Ben Spencer (Bath Rugby, 5 caps)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 33 caps)

Nigel Owens ranks the best captains he has refereed, Richie McCaw third

The popular referee selected his picks for Wales Online, but set out at the start that he wouldn’t be picking any Welshman in his selection.

“I am not going to include any Welsh players on my list because I haven’t refereed them in international matches.

“Anyway, these are my top Test skippers ranked, Welshmen aside.”


#5. Chris Robshaw (England)

The flanker is a former English rugby union player who captained the national team from 2012 to 2015.

Known for his exceptional work rate and leadership skills, Robshaw was a dynamic flanker who made a significant impact on the field. He enjoyed a successful club career with Harlequins, where he played for over a decade. Robshaw’s dedication and commitment to the sport earned him numerous accolades and the respect of his peers.

Off the field, he is admired for his philanthropic efforts, using his platform to support various charitable causes.

Owens said: “Some people will be surprised at this one to start off. His misfortune was perhaps to be leading England during a difficult time, but he always gave everything for the cause, encouraging others to follow suit, and he was a nice guy off the pitch.”

#4. Jean de Villiers (South Africa)

He is a retired South African rugby union player who made a lasting impact on the international stage.

As a versatile back, he showcased his skills and leadership abilities as the captain of the Springboks from 2012 to 2015.

De Villiers’ playing career spanned over a decade, during which he exhibited exceptional athleticism and a powerful presence on the field.

He was widely respected for his tactical knowledge, unwavering commitment, and ability to inspire his teammates.

De Villiers remains an influential figure in the rugby world and continues to contribute to the sport through coaching and commentary.

Owens said: “He was not only a great rugby player but also a great leader and a great man. Whenever I came across him on the field, he impressed me.”