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Lancaster set to name England squad

England head coach Stuart Lancaster names his elite player and Saxons squads at 11am, with Chris Ashton likely to provide the biggest talking point.

Lancaster has stated that Ashton and the four other players rested for the summer tour to Argentina - Chris Robshaw, Brad Barritt, Danny Care and Toby Flood - would be included among the 33 for the autumn internationals.

But the Saracens wing's form deteriorated alarmingly during the RBS 6 Nations and his place is under threat from Marland Yarde and Christian Wade, who impressed against the Pumas.

Ashton's fellow Saracen David Strettle will make way for at least one of the new faces, while Kyle Eastmond could potentially replace Jonathan Joseph.

The forwards, who make up 18 of the 33, might see a handful of changes, among them Matt Kvesic's promotion to the EPS after he emerged as one of the stars of Argentina.

Kvesic is a more traditional openside than Chris Robshaw and he will compete with the Harlequins back row for the number seven jersey for the forthcoming Tests against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand.

The captaincy will be named closer to the autumn, but Robshaw could lose out to Tom Wood who filled the post in South America.

It is doubtful that number eight Thomas Waldrom will continue among the 33 with Billy Vunipola likely to make the step up from the Saxons.

Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley may finally have exhausted Lancaster's patience, potentially creating an opening for Rob Webber who captained England against the Barbarians in May.


From Belfast Telegraph