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Three new caps in England’s autumn internationals squad

| 22.10.2014

 Stuart Lancaster has named three new caps in the England squad to face New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Australia on consecutive Saturdays next month.

Bath winger Semesa Rokoduguni, Saracens second row George Kruis and Northampton flanker Calum Clark will all be given their chance to impress during the autumn international series as England build towards next year’s Six Nations and the World Cup.

Rokoduguni and Kruis are called up to the squad for the very first time after impressing for Bath and Saracens respectively, while Clark has had previous experience with the squad but is yet to feature.

Chris Robshaw, who has captained England in 27 of their last 30 Tests, continues as skipper for the four-game series despite coming under pressure for his place in Lancaster’s side.

Saracens winger Chris Ashton and Sale fly-half have been omitted from the squad, while Alex Corbisiero, Dan Cole, Tom Croft, Tom Johnson, Geoff Parling, Chris Pennell, Ed Slater, Mako Vunipola and Tom Youngs all miss out due to injury.

There is no place in the 33-man squad for Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi after a recurrence of his groin injury in Leicester’s European Rugby Champions Cup win over Ulster but he has not been ruled out of making a return before the autumn games come to an end.

Bath centre Jonathan Joseph replaces Tuilagi after his excellent early season form and is joined by his centre partner at the Rec Kyle Eastmond.

A brilliant solo try in Wasps’ European Champions Cup game against Leinster was not enough to seal him a place in the squad, while Freddie Burns, who started the first and third Tests against the All Blacks last summer, does not make the squad with Northampton’s Stephen Myler returning to the group.

England’s matches this autumn are crucial to building momentum ahead of the stern challenges which lie in wait next year, including a World Cup on home soil.

Lancaster’s men are the 13/8 favourites with Ladbrokes to win the 2015 Six Nations, while they are just behind favourites New Zealand in the betting to lift the Webb Ellis trophy at 3/1.

England’s first match of the autumn series is against New Zealand on November 8th and while England put in some promising performances against Steve Hansen’s side in the summer they still lost all three Tests.

Robshaw’s side will be hoping for even further improvement though at Twickenham and are 9/4 to produce a repeat of the 38-21 win in 2012 but they face a stern test against the current world champions, who are 1/3 for victory with the bookmaker.

England Squad for Autumn Internationals

 Forwards: Joe Marler (Harlequins), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Rob Webber (Bath Rugby), Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Calum Clark (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, captain), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints).

Backs: Danny Care (Harlequins), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Stephen Myler (Northampton Saints), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints), Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Alex Goode (Saracens), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby), Marland Yarde (Harlequins).

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Oliver Yew