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Monday Oct 26, 2020

Umaga and Willis called up in 36-man England squad for autumn internationals

England have named uncapped Wasps duo Jack Willis and Jacob Umaga in their squad for the Six Nations finale against Italy and Autumn Nations Cup.

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Eddie Jones has named a 36-player squad for his England side’s autumn tournament fixtures.

Willis was expected to be picked in the 36-man party following a blockbusting season in which he emerged as the Gallagher Premiership’s foremost breakdown specialist, but Umaga’s inclusion is somewhat of a surprise.

The 22-year-old is chosen ahead of Exeter’s Joe Simmonds and could win his first cap in Rome on Saturday due to being only one of two fly-halves present alongside Owen Farrell.

Henry Slade is also included fresh from his heroics in helping the Chiefs defeat Wasps 19-13 in the Premiership final on Saturday and has experience at 10.

England will play their final match of the rescheduled 2020 Guinness Six Nations against Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday 31 October (4.45pm GMT KO), knowing a bonus point win could see them lift the trophy.

They will then return to begin their Autumn Nations Cup campaign at Twickenham Stadium where they will play three Quilter Internationals.

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England will play Georgia (Saturday 14 November, 3pm KO) and Ireland (Saturday 21 November, 3pm KO). England will then face Wales away (Saturday 28 November, 4pm KO) before a placing match at home to determine final position in the competition (Sunday 6 December, 2pm KO).

FULL ENGLAND SQUAD

Backs
Joe Cokanasiga, Owen Farrell, George Furbank, Willi Heinz, Jonathan Joseph, Ollie Lawrence, Max Malins, Joe Marchant, Jonny May, Dan Robson, Henry Slade, Ollie Thorley, Jacob Umaga, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs
Forwards
Tom Curry, Tom Dunn, Ben Earl, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Jonny Hill, Ted Hill, Maro Itoje, Joe Launchbury, Lewis Ludlam, Beno Obano, David Ribbans, Jack Singleton, Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Harry Williams, Jack Willis

Jones said: “We have to put our best foot forward if we want to win the Six Nations.  We need to set the tone of the game and we want to put a smile on fans’ faces, a lot of people are enduring hardships and we are grateful for the opportunity to represent England in these difficult times.

“We were obviously disappointed with the postponement of the Barbarians game but we moved to plan B, had a highly competitive training session instead of the match and now we are fully focused on the Italy game and the goal of winning the Six Nations.

“It was a tough squad to pick and I know there are a number of disappointed players that have just missed out.  We’ve got a good balance between experience and inexperience.

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“With nine players out injured, it does create some opportunities for the younger guys to show what they can do.  We’re very happy with what we’ve seen in the mini-camps and the Barbarians training week, it’s been really competitive.”

RELATED ENGLAND RUGBY VIDEO:

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