England set to announce tour squad
May 10, 2012
Quins scrum-half Danny Care is poised for a return to the England squad for the forthcoming tour of South Africa © PA Photos
England coach Stuart Lancaster is poised to name a fresh-looking squad for next month's tour of South Africa with as many as 10 uncapped players expected to get the nod.
Danny Care, James Haskell and Ugo Monye are all set to be recalled for the daunting three-Test, five-match trip to South Africa while Leicester hooker Tom Youngs is in line for a surprise promotion to the elite squad when Lancaster confirms his selection at midday.
Youngs, 25, has never started an Aviva Premiership match at hooker, with his experience in the position limited to just 12 appearances off the bench. But with Rob Webber and Chris Brooker injured, it is understood Youngs has been selected as one of four hookers.
Care gets a second chance after being excluded from the Six Nations on disciplinary grounds while Haskell was unavailable for the championship because he was playing club rugby in Japan.
Youngs made his only Premiership starts as a hard-hitting centre before being converted to hooker by the current South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer, during his brief time in charge at Leicester. After two years learning his new craft at Nottingham, Youngs returned to Leicester where he has been George Chuter's regular understudy this season.
In addition to Youngs, the Wasps pair of wing Christian Wade and lock Joe Launchbury have been rewarded for their breakthrough seasons in the top flight with selection. Bath flanker Carl Fearns will provide back-row options following tour-ending injuries to Tom Croft and Tom Wood, while there are doubts over the fitness of Ben Morgan.
There will be a sizeable Harlequins contingent with captain Chris Robshaw and Care joined by Jordan Turner-Hall, Mike Brown and the uncapped quartet of centre George Lowe, lock George Robson, hooker Joe Gray and prop Joe Marler.
England play the Barbarians at Twickenham before embarking on their first ever three-Test series in South Africa. The midweek fixtures will be against teams comprised of South Africa's best Currie Cup players.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton