Leicester trio Ellis Genge, George Ford and Ben Youngs have been named in the England squad for the Guinness Six Nations, with club colleagues Joe Heyes and George Martin included in a new ‘shadow’ squad.
Genge, Ford and Youngs are all retained by head coach Eddie Jones after playing their part in the Autumn Nations Cup victory.
England will retain a 28-player squad throughout the tournament, following an agreement with Premiership Rugby, The RPA and The RFU in recognition of the challenges presented by COVID-19.
The squad will meet up at St. George’s Park, England football’s training base, next Wednesday and then move to their London base ahead of their first game against Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday, February 6 (4.45pm).
Jones said: “This has been a really tough squad to pick and I know there are a lot of disappointed players who haven’t been selected. We’re really excited by the players we have got, it’s a very vibrant squad and we are looking forward to getting started next week.
“Ultimately our goal is to win the Six Nations and to do that we’ll need to work hard, prepare well each day and take it as it comes.”
Tigers academy graduates Heyes and Martin are included in a 12-man shadow squad who will be part of the same testing protocols as the tournament squad.
ENGLAND FULL SQUAD
Elliot Daly (Saracens, 47 caps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 88 caps)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 72 caps)
Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors, 3 caps)
Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 3 caps)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 61 caps)
Paolo Odogwu (Wasps, uncapped)
Harry Randall (Bristol Bears, uncapped)
Dan Robson (Wasps, 7 caps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 34 caps)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 46 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 104 caps)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 26 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 28 caps)
Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 8 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 23 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 54 caps)
Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 43 caps)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 69 caps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 85 caps)
Joe Marler (Harlequins, 72 caps)
Beno Obano (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 8 caps)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 22 caps)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 56 caps)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps)
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 19 caps)
Charlie Atkinson (Wasps, uncapped)
Ali Crossdale (Saracens, uncapped)
Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, 3 caps)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 17 caps)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 3 caps)
Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, uncapped)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 54 caps)
Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 4 caps)
George Martin (Leicester Tigers, uncapped)
Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Jacob Umaga (Wasps, uncapped)
Jack Willis (Wasps, 2 caps)