Burrell replaces Tuilagi in England squad

by AFP

Northampton inside-centre Luther Burrell has replaced the injured Manu Tuilagi in England's squad for their tour of Australia, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) announced on Monday.

Tuilagi was ruled out of the three-Test series after tearing his hamstring in Leicester's English Premiership semi-final defeat by Saracens earlier this month.

Burrell, 28, was given a chance to impress in Sunday's clash with Wales at Twickenham and took it by scoring a first-half try in a 27-13 victory.

"It's a great opportunity for Luther, who played really well yesterday. He carried the ball well, defended with aggression and scored an excellent try," said head coach Eddie Jones in an RFU press release.

"We want players who are desperate to play for their country and are willing to make the sacrifices needed to succeed at the highest level.

"Luther's worked hard at his game since January and we've seen a significant improvement in his fitness and conditioning as a result. He thoroughly deserves his place on the tour."

It marks a return from the cold for Burrell, who was omitted from England's World Cup squad by Stuart Lancaster and left out of the Six Nations squad after Jones deemed him "grossly overweight".

Burrell was selected ahead of the Exeter-bound Ollie Devoto, who will instead tour South Africa with the second-string England Saxons squad.

"It was a tough selection call," Jones added. "Ollie Devoto has really impressed during his recent time in the England camp. We wish him a successful tour to South Africa with the Saxons."

England play the first of their three matches against Australia in Brisbane on June 11.