Uncapped son of England legend named in squad for summer series - Ruck

Uncapped son of England legend named in squad for summer series

Premiership winner Ollie Sleightholme has been rewarded for his fine form with an England call-up for their summer series against Japan and New Zealand.

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England will play in Tokyo on June 22, marking former coach Eddie Jones’ first game in his second tenure leading Japan.

Steve Borthwick’s team will then face the All Blacks in two tests in New Zealand: in Dunedin on July 6 and Auckland on July 13.

Following in the footsteps of his father, Saints legend Jon, the fast-footed winger had impressed for Saints’ this season, scoring 16 tries in 17 appearances.

He is one of six uncapped players in the squad with Fin Baxter (Harlequins), Gabriel Oghre (Bristol Bears), Joe Carpenter (Sale Sharks) Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks) and Luke Northmore (Harlequins) also called up.

Who is Jon Sleightholme?

Originally from Yorkshire, he attended the University of Chester and played for Wakefield RFC before joining Bath Rugby for the 1994–95 season. At the time, Rugby Union was amateur, so he worked as a teacher while playing. He won a league and cup double with Bath and was called up by England for the 1996 Five Nations Championship, making his debut against France in Paris.

England won the Championship, and he scored his first England try in the final match against Ireland. He remained in the England team for the 1997 Five Nations, scoring two tries against Ireland. In 1997, he joined Northampton Saints, scoring ten tries in fifty appearances. Overall, he played twelve times for England, scoring four tries, and also played for the Barbarians.

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.”