Borthwick to sit out England tour
May 11, 2010
Leeds flanker Hendre Fourie has won an England call-up © Getty Images
England skipper Steve Borthwick will not tour Australia and New Zealand in June in order to continue his recovery from a long standing knee problem.
England will play two Tests against Australia, in Perth on June 12 and Sydney on June 19, and three midweek games, against the Australian Barbarians and New Zealand Maori.
Bath-bound flanker Lewis Moody, who led his country for the first time in the final game of the Six Nations against France, is set to marshal a 44-man squad containing nine new caps. England will be without locks Borthwick and Louis Deacon and centre Riki Flutey for the five-match trip. Wasps pivot Danny Cipriani, who will join Melbourne Rebels next season, will be in a cast for six weeks after fracturing his right metacarpal in Wasps' win over Newcastle last weekend.
Bath centre Olly Barkley has been called in from the international wilderness after a string of superb displays in his side's march to the Guinness Premiership semi-finals, while Sale fly-half Charlie Hodgson will tour two years after his last Test appearance ended in disaster against the All Blacks.
In the forwards there is a call-up for Leeds' South African-born flanker Hendre Fourie, and Newcastle's Jon Golding and Bath's David Flatman will provide front-row cover for the rested Phil Vickery and injured Andrew Sheridan. Wasps hooker Rob Webber joins Dylan Hartley, Steve Thompson and Lee Mears in the squad for the first time.
Gloucester lock Dave Attwood and Leicester's Geoff Parling have also secured maiden call-ups in the absence of Borthwick. Dan Ward-Smith will provide added ballast in both the back and second-rows after a strong showing with Wasps this season.
In the backs, Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson has been rewarded for a brilliant run of form while his team-mate Dom Waldouck has also been drafted in. Bath centre Shontayne Hape gets his chance to push for a Test cap after illness hampered his progress during the Six Nations.
"Borthwick needs a good off-season and the same applies to Louis Deacon, who will be fit before the end of the season but he has had 10 years of rugby and we feel it was the right call," Johnson said. "Phil Vickery was never seriously considered for the tour because he has had major surgery.
"He has been a warrior for England for the last 12 years and we have good options at tight-head with Dan Cole and David Wilson. This is also an opportunity for Paul Doran-Jones to come back in after making his debut in the autumn.
"It is a tough call on Paul Hodgson but we feel Richard Wigglesworth suits what we are trying to do at the moment. This tour starts the build-up to the 2011 World Cup and some selections are indicative of that. It will be tough in Australia on and off the field. When do they ever not fancy knocking England over? But that's the fun. It's a great place to play."
Wasps flanker Tom Rees must make do with a Saxons place as he continues his injury recovery, and he is joined in the 'A' squad by the impressive Phil Dowson of Northampton and Saracens'Andy Saull to contest the Churchill Cup.
England squad to face Australia:
Backs: D Armitage (London Irish), C Ashton (Northampton), M Banahan (Bath), O Barkley (Bath), D Care (Harlequins), M Cueto (Sale Sharks), T Flood (Leicester), B Foden (Northampton), S Geraghty (Northampton), S Hape (Bath), C Hodgson (Sale Sharks), U Monye (Harlequins), J Simpson (Wasps), D Strettle (Harlequins), M Tait (Sale Sharks), M Tindall (Gloucester), D Waldouck (Wasps), R Wigglesworth (Sale Sharks), J Wilkinson (Toulon), B Youngs (Leicester)
Forwards: S Armitage (London Irish), D Attwood (Gloucester), D Cole (Leicester), T Croft (Leicester), P Doran-Jones (Gloucester), N Easter (Harlequins), D Flatman (Bath), H Fourie (Leeds Carnegie), J Golding (Newcastle), D Hartley (Northampton), J Haskell (Stade Francais), C Lawes (Northampton), L Mears (Bath), L Moody (Leicester), T Palmer (Stade Francais), G Parling (Leicester), T Payne (Wasps), C Robshaw (Harlequins), S Shaw (Wasps), S Thompson (Brive), D Ward-Smith (Wasps), R Webber (Wasps), D Wilson (Bath), J Worsley (Wasps)
England Saxons squad to contest the Churchill Cup:
Backs: N Abendanon (Bath), A Allen (Leicester), B Barritt (Saracens), J Clarke (Northampton), A Goode (Saracens), P Hodgson (London Irish), S Myler (Northampton), J Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester), O Smith (Montpellier), T Varndell (Wasps), M Young (Newcastle).
Forwards: D Bell (Bath), N Catt (Bath), A Corbisiero (London Irish), P Dowson (Northampton), G Kitchener (Worcester), S Hooper (Bath), T Lindsay (Wasps), L Narraway (Gloucester), D Paice (London Irish), T Rees (Wasps), A Saull (Saracens), G Skivington (Wasps), R Vickers (Newcastle), N Wood (Gloucester), T Wood (Worcester)
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September