Lancaster set to unleash the young guns
May 8, 2013
Stuart Lancaster will leave Chris Robshaw in England come June © Getty Images
England coach Stuart Lancaster is expected to rest Chris Robshaw, Toby Flood and Chris Ashton when he unveils his squad for their summer tour to Argentina later today.
Robshaw was omitted from the British & Irish Lions squad last week and is reportedly desperate to prove Warren Gatland wrong and put in a good performance against the Pumas. But Lancaster is expected to afford the Harlequins flanker time to recharge his batteries before an intense two-year build-up to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
With skipper Robshaw expected to be left in England, Tom Wood looks set to be handed the captain's armband and will preside over a young squad. Wood is the obvious candidate to take over the captaincy, having been close to the honour when it was first given to Robshaw at the start of Lancaster's tenure in 2012.
Lancaster's decision to give established names the summer off will allow him to cast his eye over some of the Aviva Premiership's brightest emerging talents.
Gloucester-bound flanker Matt Kvesic will compete with Tom Johnson for the openside flanker jersey while Freddie Burns will travel as England's first-choice fly-half, with George Ford as his back-up. Christian Wade, who finished the regular season as the Premiership's joint-leading try-scorer with 13, Jonny May and Marland Yarde are all expected to get a chance to press their Test claims.
England play the Barbarians at Twickenham on May 26 and a South American XV in Montevideo on June 2 before Tests against the Pumas in Salta and Buenos Aires on June 8 and 15.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'