Hartley to make return against Baa-Baas
May 15, 2012
Dylan Hartley could face the Barbarians on May 27 © Getty Images
England have included Northampton Saints hooker Dylan Hartley in their squad to face the Barbarians on May 27.
Hartley's suspension, for an incident with Stephen Ferris in England's Six Nations victory over Ireland in March, expired on Monday. The Northampton captain has been named in a 27-man England squad that does not feature any players from Leicester or Harlequins, who meet in the Aviva Premiership final the previous day.
Freddie Burns, Jamie Gibson, Haydn Thomas and Richard Wigglesworth have all been drafted into the squad from outside England's touring party for the non-cap international. While Burns, Gibson and Thomas are all uncapped, Wigglesworth was part of the England squad for the 2011 World Cup.
After facing the Barbarians, the squad will then depart for South Africa where they will play a five-match tour including three Tests against the Springboks. For England coach Stuart Lancaster, the match against the Baa-Baas will be essential in gaging where his players stand ahead of the tour.
Lancaster said: "This match has become an established fixture in the season and is hugely important for us ahead of the tour. We will obviously be without the Leicester and Harlequins players - and best of luck to both those teams in the Aviva Premiership final - but this is a great opportunity for the rest of the squad, as well as Freddie, Jamie, Richard and Haydn, to put a marker down before we leave for the tour."
England will face a Barbarians side featuring former captain Mike Tindall and featuring Wales fly-half Stephen Jones, plus Samoan pair Sailosi Tagicakibau and Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu after they were named in the squad for the summer Tests.
Forwards - M Botha (Saracens), A Corbisiero (London Irish), P Doran-Jones (Northampton), P Dowson (Northampton), C Fearns (Bath), J Gibson (London Irish), D Hartley (Northampton), T Johnson (Exeter), J Launchbury (Wasps), L Mears (Bath), B Morgan (Scarlets), M Mullan (Worcester), T Palmer (Stade Francais), M Stevens (Saracens)
Backs - C Ashton (Northampton), B Barritt (Saracens), F Burns (Gloucester), L Dickson (Northampton), O Farrell (Saracens), B Foden (Northampton), A Goode (Saracens), C Hodgson (Saracens), J Joseph (London Irish), D Strettle (Saracens), H Thomas (Exeter), C Wade (Wasps), R Wigglesworth (Saracens).
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape
Move over, Castro - from falling off a chair to stepping off the team bus, Scrum Sevens recounts some of the strangest rugby injuries ever
Martin Gillingham on the latest from France and why the national side can learn a thing or two from Top 14 side Bordeaux Begles