England name 15 uncapped players for tour of Argentina

Last Updated April 20 2017, 09:17Rugby Union

Denny Solomona and Sam Underhill are among 15 uncapped players named in England's squad for their June tour to Argentina.

Rugby league convert Solomona, who qualifies for the RBS 6 Nations champions on residency grounds, and back row prospect Underhill feature in a 31-man party that is missing Danny Cipriani.

Head coach Eddie Jones has opted against resting those senior players who have been overlooked by the British and Irish Lions, retaining Dylan Hartley as captain and selecting the likes of Chris Robshaw, James Haskell and Mike Brown.

Solomona has scored 10 tries in 13 appearances for Sale since controversially switching codes in December.

The Auckland-born 23-year-old made his only previous international appearance for Samoa's rugby league team last year, but since qualifying has declared for England.

A resolution to the dispute over his transfer from Castleford to Sale is expected on Friday.

Underhill is seen as a long-term prospect at openside and his inclusion in an England squad for the first time comes following his decision to swap the Ospreys for Bath.

"The squad have a great opportunity to represent their country and win for England," Jones said.

"There are a few new faces in the set-up so every training session and team meeting will count.

"Dylan Hartley will lead the side again having captained excellently during the Six Nations and will be supported by vice-captains Mike Brown, Danny Care and George Ford."

Other than Cipriani, surprise omissions are Wasps hooker Tommy Taylor, Sale number eight Josh Beaumont, Northampton flanker Teimana Harrison, Harlequins wing Marland Yarde and Bath wing Semesa Rokodaguni.

Jones has tapped into the highly successful England Under-20 production line in picking the 15 debutants, but his senior players will form the core of the starting XV for the two Tests in San Juan and Santa Fe.

The Australian had indicated he would rest some of his senior players for the tour, but he has instead chosen to take his strongest available squad to Argentina.

"We have picked the best squad we have available and we are looking forward to going to Argentina and winning 2-0," Jones said.

"The Pumas are a physically aggressive side and they have become very good at playing unstructured rugby; we need to make sure we control the structural part of the game and our defence will play an absolutely crucial role."

England's 31-man squad for June's two-Test tour to Argentina:

Forwards: W Collier (Harlequins), L Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), B Curry (Sale Sharks), T Curry (Sale Sharks), C Ewels (Bath Rugby), E Genge (Leicester Tigers), D Hartley (Northampton Saints, capt), J Haskell (Wasps), P Hill (Northampton Saints), N Hughes (Wasps), N Isiekwe (Saracens), J Launchbury (Wasps), M Mullan (Wasps), C Robshaw (Harlequins), S Underhill (Ospreys/Bath Rugby), H Williams (Exeter Chiefs), T Wood (Northampton Saints).

Backs: M Brown (Harlequins), D Care (Harlequins), J Cokanasiga (London Irish), N Earle (Saracens), G Ford (Bath Rugby), P Francis (Auckland Blues/Northampton Saints), S James (Sale Sharks), A Lozowski (Saracens), H Mallinder (Northampton Saints), J Marchant (Harlequins), J Maunder (Exeter Chiefs), J May (Gloucester Rugby), H Slade (Exeter Chiefs), D Solomona (Sale Sharks).


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