Haskell left out of England squad

by AFP

Veteran Wasps back-row James Haskell was left out of England's squad announced by coach Eddie Jones on Thursday for next month's three internationals at Twickenham.

The 75-times capped Haskell, a member of the British and Irish Lions squad in New Zealand earlier this year, started the season with a hand injury and has been replaced by uncapped Exeter rising star Sam Simmonds.

"I had a chat to Haskell on Saturday. We had a good chat," Jones said at a London news conference after unveiling his squad.

"At the moment he's just not playing well enough, but the door isn't shut to him. He's been a great servant to English rugby and I'm sure he can regain his form."

This is the first time Simmonds has been called into an England squad, and Jones added: "Sam Simmonds is one of those players who can play six, seven or eight, so that gives us utility value."

James Haskell has been left out of the England squad. Photo: Getty ImagesHaskell was the major omission in a 34-man squad announced by Australian coach Jones -- who has lost just one game in charge of England when his side were denied a second successive Six Nations Grand Slam by Ireland in Dublin in March.

However, there was no place for Harlequins wing Marland Yarde, although former rugby league flyer Denny Solomona was included despite being sent home from England's training camp in August after a late-night drinking session with Manu Tuilagi.

"We had a look at Marland in regards to Denny in terms of tries scored and the number of tries Denny has scored is far superior," Jones explained.

"We want a try-scorer on our right wing."

Bath loose forward Zach Mercer and Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith were selected by Jones as "apprentice players" in a bid to gain experience of the England set-up.

"Our first match against Argentina is a significant game for England," Jones said of what will be England's fourth Test against their 2019 World Cup pool rivals since November last year, having beaten them in the 2016 Old Mutual Wealth Series and twice on the tour of Argentina in June.

"We want to make sure our record against them is 4-0," former Australia and Japan coach Jones added.

Dylan Hartley, the England captain, was included after a disciplinary panel decided Tuesday he should receive no further sanction after being sent to the sin-bin for striking Clermont prop Rabah Slimani during Northampton's 24-7 European Champions Cup defeat on Saturday.

But England will be without Joe Marler for next month's matches against Argentina and Australia after the Harlequins prop pleaded guilty to striking Wasps' Will Rowlands with his forearm last weekend.

Meanwhile Wasps No 8 Nathan Hughes was handed a two-week ban for striking Smith on the neck in Sunday's Champions Cup win over Harlequins but he will be available for the Argentina match on November 11.

Injuries, however, have ruled out several players including centre Tuilagi and star back-row Billy Vunipola.

England complete their November programme when they face Australia and Samoa on successive weekends at Twickenham.


England end-of-year squad


Dan Cole (Leicester), Tom Dunn (Bath), Ellis Genge (Leicester), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter), Tom Curry (Sale), Charlie Ewels (Bath), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Zach Mercer (Bath), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Sam Simmonds (Exeter), Sam Underhill (Bath)Backs


Mike Brown (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Jonny May (Leicester), Denny Solomona (Sale), Anthony Watson (Bath), Danny Care (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester), Piers Francis (Northampton), Jonathan Joseph (Bath), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Henry Slade (Exeter), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester)