England confirm Six Nations squad for clash against Italy

Dylan Hartley will be eyeing third successive Six Nations triumph for England
Dylan Hartley will be eyeing third successive Six Nations triumph for England
©PA

England coach Eddie Jones has named eight uncapped players in a 35-man squad that will take part in the training camp ahead of the Six Nations 2018 opener against Italy.

The squad led by skipper Dylan Hartley will head to Portugal following their club commitments this weekend for a week-long training camp.

Loosehead prop Lewis Boyce, who recently switched to Harlequins from Yorkshire Carnegie has been chosen in the squad with his club-mate Joe Marler serving a six-week ban. The 21-year-old was also part of the England U20 squad that clinched the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in 2016.

Apart from Boyce, Newcastle Falcons' Gary Graham and Exeter's Alec Hepburn are also part of the squad. Nathan Earle (Saracens) and Harry Mallinder (Northampton Saints) are also included after failing to win a single cap during England's summer tour of Argentina last year.

Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith has been named as an apprentice player.

England coach Eddie Jones believes he has picked the strongest available squad and has urged the players to make the opportunity count against Italy.

“I have selected the strongest available squad to prepare for our opening match against Italy. It is important we start the tournament well and we will spend the next two weeks training smart and really fine-tuning our game plan for the Italy match next month.

“I am expecting a really positive training camp in Portugal and while we have a few players unavailable through injury or suspension, it has provided opportunity for others who will be desperate to be involved in the Italy game.”

England squad to face Italy:

Backs

Mike Brown (Harlequins), Nathan Earle (Saracens), Harry Mallinder (Northampton), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester), Jonathan Joseph (Bath), Alex Lozowski (Saracens),Jack Nowell (Exeter), Henry Slade (Exeter), Ben Te'o (Worcester) Marcus Smith (Harlequins) (apprentice), Ben Youngs (Leicester)

Forwards

Gary Graham (Newcastle), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Launchbury (Wasps)Zach Mercer (Bath), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Sam Simmonds (Exeter), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Lewis Boyce (Harlequins), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Dunn (Bath), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton), Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)

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