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Beaumont Junior gets call to new-look England rugby squad

Sale's Josh Beaumont is a powerful number eight in the mould of his father Bill, one of England's most iconic players who led them to the grand slam in 1980 and captained the British and Irish Lions the same year

By Mitch Phillips

Josh Beaumont, son of former captain Bill, was one of seven uncapped players included in Eddie Jones’ first England squad on Wednesday, while several regulars of the previous regime have been culled.

Jones named a 33-man Elite Player Squad, effectively his squad for the Six Nations championship starting next month with England visiting Scotland in their first game on Feb. 6.

Sale’s Beaumont is a powerful number eight in the mould of his father, one of England’s most iconic players who led them to the grand slam in 1980 and captained the British and Irish Lions the same year.

Jack Clifford, who has taken over as openside flanker at Harlequins from England’s World Cup captain Chris Robshaw, is also included, as is Robshaw, who is now playing on the blindside.

Wasps centre Elliot Daly is included and has a chance to press for a team slot in the absence of injured Henry Slade, while Sam Hill, Paul Hill, Ollie Devoto and Maro Itoje are also included hoping for a first cap.

Centre Manu Tuilagi, who last played for England in June 2014 and returned to the Leicester team last week after a 15-month absence with a groin problem, was not included in the squad but will be considered after the early games of the Six Nations.

Several players who were regulars under Stuart Lancaster have been left out, including centre Luther Burrell, who was a surprise omission from the World Cup squad having been a regular in last year’s Six Nations.

Fellow centre Brad Barritt, flanker Tom Wood, lock Geoff Parling, hooker Tom Youngs and number eight Ben Morgan also miss out.
There was also no place for Danny Cipriani, whose international career now looks to be over after never really getting going, or scrumhalf Richard Wigglesworth.

Gloucester’s Matt Kvesic, seen by many as the answer to England’s search for a ball-snaffling number seven, was included.
There was a recall for winger Chris Ashton, who played only two tests since 2013 but has continued to score tries for Saracens, and Harlequins’ Marland Yarde, with both men hoping to take advantage of the season-ending knee injury of Jonny May.

“The long-term strategy for England is to develop a side who can be the most dominant team in world rugby, so we have chosen a lot of new players on the growth we see in them,” Jones said in a statement.

“We see these players growing into England players of the future and developing into a side who can be the best in the world. Our aim is to develop a squad where there is depth and competition in every position,” added the Australian, who will name his captain at a later date.

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