Mixed up England for Barbarians challenge

England have included 13 capped internationals in a 27-man training squad to prepare for the traditional end-of-season challenge against the Barbarians at Twickenham on June 1.

The squad does not include any players from Guinness Premiership finalists Leicester and Wasps, who meet at Twickenham 24 hours earlier, or European Challenge Cup finalists Bath and Worcester.

Charlie Hodgson and Toby Flood provide the fly-half options in a squad which features a mix of players heading to New Zealand on the senior England tour and those playing for the Saxons at the Barclays Churchill Cup.

There is no place for Gloucester fly-half Ryan Lamb, who will discover tomorrow whether he will be promoted from the Saxons to replace the injured Danny Cipriani in New Zealand.

Bath-bound lock Stuart Hooper has replaced Gloucester’s Alex Brown in the Saxons’ Churchill Cup squad and will be in contention to face the Barbarians.

Rob Andrew, elite rugby director and England’s tour manager for New Zealand, said: “We’ve picked a very strong England squad to prepare for the match against the Barbarians with all the players selected for the training week travelling with either the England senior team or the Saxons this summer.

“There a lot of caps amongst the backs and with so many forwards tied up with their clubs in the Guinness Premiership and European Challenge Cup finals a number of players in the Saxons squad will have their opportunity to put a marker down for future senior team selection.”

The final 22-man squad will be announced next Wednesday.

Alex Clarke, Bristol Rugby
*Nick Easter, Harlequins
Tom Guest, Harlequins
Dylan Hartley, Northampton Saints
Jason Hobson, Bristol Rugby
Stuart Hooper, Leeds Carnegie
*Chris Jones, Sale Sharks
Nick Kennedy, London Irish
Nick Lloyd, Saracens
*Luke Narraway, Gloucester Rugby
David Paice, London Irish
Chris Robshaw, Harlequins
Will Skinner, Harlequins
David Wilson, Newcastle Falcons


*Anthony Allen, Gloucester Rugby
*Mike Brown, Harlequins
Danny Care, Harlequins
*Toby Flood, Newcastle Falcons
*Charlie Hodgson, Sale Sharks
Ugo Monye, Harlequins
*Jamie Noon, Newcastle Falcons
Topsy Ojo, London Irish
*Pete Richards, London Irish
*David Strettle, Harlequins
*Mathew Tait, Newcastle Falcons
*Mike Tindall, Gloucester Rugby
*Richard Wigglesworth, Sale Sharks

*Denotes capped player

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