England Boss Stuart Lancaster Announces Elite Player Squad Changes

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 1, 2013

Christian Wade on Lions duty
Christian Wade on Lions dutyDavid Rogers/Getty Images

In preparation for November’s QBE Internationals, Stuart Lancaster has announced six changes to England Senior Elite Player Squad.

Of those players, the team’s head coach introduces five players who won their first caps for the national side during the summer tour of Argentina

Christian Wade, Matt Kvesic, Billy Vunipola, Kyle Eastmond and Marland Yarde all starred for the national team for the first time in South America, while David Attwood looks to make a better run of his England career than previously.

The Bath second-row won his first call-up to the side in 2010 but failed to establish himself and will seek to use his increased Premiership experience to his advantage this time around.

Meanwhile, the five other players, boasting an average age of 22, are all experiencing the summons for the first extended period in their careers after impressing in the two victories against the Pumas.

Speaking on his recent selections, Lancaster said, per the RFU’s official website:

This was the toughest EPS selection we've had to make with fierce competition for places in every area of the squad after an excellent summer for England players at all levels.

Twelve England players were part of a victorious British & Irish Lions tour, eight others won their first caps in Argentina, a number of rested senior players will have benefited from their break and the future looks healthy after our Under 20 side won the Junior World Championship for the first time.

London Wasps’ Wade has arguably the most to live up to among the batch after moving swiftly from his first senior England minutes into a British and Irish Lions jersey, having been brought to Australia as cover for the then-injured Tommy Bowe and Jamie Roberts.

Another player with a mounting legacy to live up to is Billy Vunipola, younger brother of now Saracens and England teammate, Mako.

Moving to Allianz Park after some impressive time with Wasps, the emerging youngster has a standard to meet after his elder brother made such an impact in such a short space of time.

Dylan Hartley also returns to the fore and is expected to be ready in time for the Autumn internationals after serving an 11-week ban for his sending-off in the Aviva Premiership final last season.


Full England Senior Elite Player Squad (via RFU.com)


David Attwood (Bath Rugby), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Alex Corbisiero (Northampton Saints), Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby), Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)



Chris Ashton (Saracens), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), Alex Goode (Saracens), Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby), Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby), Christian Wade (London Wasps), Marland Yarde (London Irish), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)