England to unveil revised EPS
January 9, 2013
Gloucester's Billy Twelvetrees is set for an England call-up © PA Photos
England boss Stuart Lancaster is set to promote Gloucester's Billy Twelvetrees to the new Elite Player Squad when it is unveiled later today.
Twelvetrees inclusion in the EPS is expected to be one of six alterations to the group of players named by Lancaster back in July. Twelvetrees is expected to replace Leicester's Anthony Allen who will drop to the Saxons.
And Lancaster is also expected to reward four of the players who helped England down the All Blacks back in December. Mako Vunipola is in line for a call up to the senior squad while Freddie Burns, Joe Launchbury and Tom Youngs are also reportedly in line for the nod. Burns is expected to replace Harlequins' Jordan Turner-Hall while Launchbury, who was named England's player of the autumn Test series, could replace his Wasps team-mate Tom Palmer.
Youngs, who made his England debut against Fiji, could come into the EPS in place of Bath's Rob Webber who is yet to play this season due to injury. And Lancaster is also expected to give Saracens' David Strettle the nod with Charlie Sharples one potential candidate to drop to the Saxons.
Tom Croft has returned to action after eight months out with a neck injury and while he may not be ready for the Six Nations, Lancaster could decide to keep him in the senior squad with the summer tour of Argentina in mind. Wasps number eight Billy Vunipola has also caught the eye this season and could win a call-up into the Saxons.
And according to reports in the Telegraph, cross-code converts Bath's Kyle Eastmond and Saracens' Joel Tomkins are also set to be named in the Saxons squad. Eastmond has covered fly-half, outside centre and the wing for the west country side this season while Tomkins has played predominantly at outside centre.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
A preview of the 2014-15 Aviva Premiership season as we run the rule over Bath, Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester, Harlequins, Leicester Tigers and London Irish
Concussion specialist Dr Ryan Kohler warns of the dangers of pushy parents who want their kids back on the field ahead of time
ESPN looks at the forthcoming season of the Guinness PRO12 and assesses how each of the 12 teams will do
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes