Steve Borthwick sets the tone from the word go as England's Six Nations squad announced

Billy Vunipola has not been included in Steve Borthwick's plans for the Six Nations

New England head coach Steve Borthwick has immediately put his stamp on the side after leaving out three high-profile names from his 36-man squad for the Six Nations.

Number eight Billy Vunipola is a notable omission alongside wingers Jonny May and Jack Nowell. The trio were all involved in England's last game against South Africa back in the autumn, which proved to be Eddie Jones's final match in charge of the national side.

Meanwhile, there is a recall for experienced prop Dan Cole - who last featured for England in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final - while some of Borthwick's other selections suggest form will count for something during his tenure.

Northampton fly-half Fin Smith and Harlequins wing Caden Murely are two of five uncapped players named while the likes of Elliot Daly, Ben Earl and Ben Curry have been rewarded for their performances at club level.

Following his standout display on his return to action on Sunday, Marcus Smith is included as is Owen Farrell, who was confirmed as captain by Borthwick despite the controversy surrounding his recent suspension.

Borthwick said: "This is an exciting squad, with a blend of Six Nations experience and young talent, and includes players who are in excellent form in the Premiership. 

“We are all looking forward to the challenges of the Six Nations and we will approach this great tournament with a spirit of courage and total commitment

“I know the players can't wait to get back to Twickenham and give our fans a performance they can be proud of.

“The hard work for the Scotland game starts now."

On the captaincy, Borthwick added: "Ellis Genge and Courtney Lawes will be vice-captains, then Owen Farrell will be captain. I’ve known Owen since he was 17 or 18 years old.

“It’s normal for a teenager to be quiet and reserved, Owen’s different. He came onto the training field and everybody was struck with awe in how hard he pushes himself. That’s Owen, that’s what he does and that’s why he’s captain of the England rugby team.”

With Vunipola missing out, it will be a battle between Sam Simmonds and Alex Dombrandt for the No.8 jersey while the fight for a spot on the wing in the absence of May and Nowell should be intriguing. Ollie-Hassell Collins, Max Malins, Tommy Freeman and Murley will all be in the frame.

England begin their Six Nations campaign against Scotland on February 4th before hosting Italy at Twickenham. A visit to Wales comes on February 25th before France at home and Ireland away in March.

England's Six Nations Squad

Forwards: Ollie Chessum, Dan Cole, Ben Curry, Alex Dombrandt, Ben Earl, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Joe Heyes, Jonny Hill, Nick Isiekwe, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, George McGuigan, Bevan Rodd, Sam Simmonds, Kyle Sinckler, Mako Vunipola, Jack Walker, Jack Willis.

Backs: Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, Tommy Freeman, Ollie Hassell-Collins, Dan Kelly, Max Malins, Joe Marchant, Alex Mitchell, Cadan Murley, Henry Slade, Fin Smith, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Manu Tuilagi, Jack van Poortvliet, Ben Youngs.