Steve Borthwick names his first England training squad ahead of summer tour - Ruck

Steve Borthwick names his first England training squad ahead of summer tour

The squad does not include players involved in the Gallagher Premiership play-offs.

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Steve Borthwick has named a 19-player training squad to begin preparations for the forthcoming Summer Series against Japan and New Zealand.

The squad will assemble at Pennyhill Park on Monday 27 May for a four-day training camp. England’s Summer Series begins on Saturday 22 June with a Test match against Japan in Tokyo before embarking on a two-Test tour of New Zealand in July.


Fin Baxter (Harlequins)

Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins)

Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins)

Greg Fisilau (Exeter Chiefs)

Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)

George Martin (Leicester Tigers)

Gabriel Oghre (Bristol Bears)

Guy Pepper (Newcastle Falcons)

Ethan Roots (Exeter Chiefs)

Rusi Tuima (Exeter Chiefs)


Charlie Atkinson (Gloucester Rugby)

Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter Chiefs)

Max Malins (Bristol Bears)

Luke Northmore (Harlequins)  

Harry Randall (Bristol Bears) 

Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)

Marcus Smith (Harlequins)

Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers)

Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers)

Five biggest shocks from Borthwick’s latest squad – Zach Mercer left out again

#1.Joe Launchbury (Harlequins)

There have been rumours that the veteran might have done enough to earn a recall. Although he missed the last few games due to a calf injury, there’s still a good chance he could join the squad as the final announcement approaches.

Joe Launchbury of Harlequins during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Gloucester Rugby and Harlequins at Kingsholm Stadium on October 14th, 2023 in Gloucester, England. (Photo by Phil Mingo/PPAUK/Gallagher)

#2. Zach Mercer (Gloucester)

There was a lot of buzz this week about Mercer possibly returning to the international team. However, yet another squad was announced without him being recalled. The sidelined number 8 must be questioning what more he needs to do to earn a spot on the team.

Zach Mercer of Gloucester Rugby during the Challenge Cup Final Match between Gloucester Rugby and Hollywoodbets Sharks at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on 24 May 2024. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK