Rokoduguni in, Ashton out for England

Date published: October 23 2014

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England have called up Bath winger and British Army soldier Semesa Rokoduguni for the November Tests, with Chris Ashton missing out.

England have called up Bath winger and British Army soldier Semesa Rokoduguni for the November Tests, with Chris Ashton missing out.

Jonathan Joseph comes in for the injured Manu Tuilagi, while there is also a spot for Calum Clark in the forwards.

Danny Cipriani is a high-profile casualty along with Ashton, while Freddie Burns, Graham Kitchener and Will Fraser all miss out.

Rokoduguni is among three uncapped players named in England’s 33-man squad. The group also features Saracens lock George Kruis and Northampton Saints flanker Clark and will meet up at Pennyhill Park on Sunday, October 26 to prepare for the opening clash with the All Blacks on November 8. Three remaining fixtures take place on consecutive Saturdays.

Centre Jonathan Joseph is included with Manu Tuilagi injured, and swells the number of in-form Bath representatives to seven. George Ford is among those from the West Country club as one of three options at fly-half alongside Owen Farrell and Stephen Myler.

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: “The first six rounds of the Premiership and opening round of European action have given us plenty to think about as coaches with a lot of players putting their hand up for selection and we are excited by the options available to us.

“We are still monitoring a number of players injury-wise and with another intensive round of European games to come, including the Wasps-Harlequins and Sale-Clermont games on Sunday, there are likely to be additions to the squad after the weekend as we move into the training camp and towards the games – so there is plenty to be decided before the New Zealand match comes around.

“We have four quality sides coming to Twickenham for this QBE Internationals series and we are really looking forward to playing at home in front of our passionate supporters as we continue the build up to the World Cup in 12 months time.”

Having recovered from the knee injury that kept him out of the tour to New Zealand, young Exeter Chiefs wing Jack Nowell returns to the fold, while back-rowers James Haskell (Wasps) and Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby) are also rewarded for fine domestic form.

Harlequins’ Robshaw has captained England in 27 of their last 30 Tests and Lancaster added: “Chris continues to lead from the front and with other players now stepping up into captaincy and senior roles at their clubs, we are building a team of leaders who can take England forward.

“There are a number of players unavailable for this series because of long term injury (listed below) but they are all on the road to recovery and as always, it gives the opportunity for others to come in and stake their claim.

“We have included Jonathan [Joseph] as an injury replacement for Manu. It is obviously disappointing to lose Manu but JJ has been in great form and deserves this chance. Our medics will continue to work closely Leicester’s and ensure that Manu is supported in his rehabilitation from his injury.”

England squad:

Forwards: Joe Marler (Harlequins) , Matt Mullan (Wasps), Kieran Brookes (Newcastle) , David Wilson (Bath), Dylan Hartley (Northampton), Rob Webber (Bath), Dave Attwood (Bath), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Calum Clark (Northampton ), James Haskell (Wasps), Ben Morgan (Gloucester), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, captain), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Tom Wood (Northampton)

Backs: Danny Care (Harlequins) , Lee Dickson (Northampton) , Ben Youngs (Leicester), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath), Stephen Myler (Northampton), Brad Barritt (Saracens) , Luther Burrell (Northampton), Kyle Eastmond (Bath), Jonathan Joseph (Bath), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Alex Goode (Saracens), Jonny May (Gloucester), Jack Nowell (Exeter), Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath), Marland Yarde (Harlequins)

The following players will not be available for the 2014 QBE Internationals: Alex Corbisiero (shoulder), Dan Cole (neck), Tom Croft (knee), Tom Johnson (neck), Geoff Parling (concussion), Chris Pennell (groin), Ed Slater (knee), Mako Vunipola (knee), Tom Youngs (shoulder).

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