Jones names weakened England rugby squad amid injury crisis
LONDON (AP) — With at least 11 players injured or suspended, England rugby coach Eddie Jones has delved into the country’s deep pool of reserves to pick an enlarged squad for the November tests that include matches against the southern hemisphere’s big three.
Ben Morgan was called up for the first time since the 2015 Rugby World Cup to answer a crisis at No. 8 that has robbed Jones of Billy Vunipola, Sam Simmonds (both injured) and Nathan Hughes, who was handed a six-week ban on Wednesday for punching an opponent.
Jones has selected eight uncapped players in a 36-man group but there was still no room for flyhalf Danny Cipriani, who has made an excellent start to the season at new club Gloucester but appears to have fallen out of favor with Jones. Cipraini, who was arrested following an incident at a nightclub in August, wasn’t called up to England’s recent training camp.
Among the other key players missing because of injury were lock Joe Launchbury, flanker Chris Robshaw, prop Mako Vunipola, center Jonathan Joseph, and winger Anthony Watson.
The England squad heads to Portugal next week for a training camp, ahead of matches on consecutive Saturdays against South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia at Twickenham.
England: Forwards: Tom Curry, Charlie Ewels, Jamie George, Dylan Hartley, Alec Hepburn, Ted Hill, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Zach Mercer, Ben Moon, Ben Morgan, Michael Rhodes, Nick Schonert, Brad Shields, Kyle Sinckler, Elliott Stooke, Sam Underhill, Harry Williams, Mark Wilson. Backs: Chris Ashton, Mike Brown, Danny Care, Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly, Nathan Earle, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Alex Lozowski, Jonny May, Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Ben Te’o, Manu Tuilagi, Richard Wigglesworth, Ben Youngs.