Eddie Jones' first England squad - Talking Points
Eddie Jones has named his first squad as England head coach ahead of the RBS 6 Nations. Here Press Association Sports examines five talking points after the 33 names were announced.
Manu Tuilagi's absence has left a void in England's midfield since his last international appearance against New Zealand in June 2014 but his recovery from the groin injury that has left him stricken for 15 months has healed and he is on the comeback trail for Leicester. Jones expects to have him available for the last two matches of the tournament.
Nine players who were present for England's failed World Cup campaign have been jettisoned with Tom Youngs, Tom Wood, Geoff Parling, Rob Webber, Brad Barritt, Nick Easter, David Wilson, Ben Morgan and Richard Wigglesworth failing to make the cut. They held a combined total of 297 caps. Dylan Hartley, Marland Yarde and Tuilagi are back.
With an eye to the future, Jones has picked seven uncapped players in number eights Josh Beaumont and Jack Clifford, centres Elliot Daly, Ollie Devoto, and Sam Hill, prop Paul Hill and lock Maro Itoje. Only two players over the age of 30-years-old have been picked - Mike Brown and James Haskell.
WAITING GAME FOR THE CAPTAINCY
England's captain will be named in little under two weeks' time with Dylan Hartley favourite for the post. The appointment will be for the duration of for Six Nations only. The qualities Jones is looking for are a player who is among the first on the team sheet and a man who will lead by example.
While Robshaw may be relieved of the captaincy, he clearly still has an England future after Jones remarked on his outstanding form for Harlequins since the start of the season. However, the Australian made it clear that he sees Robshaw as a six and not a seven. A key questioned that remains unanswered, however, is who will fill the number seven jersey.