Seven changes from England

Date published: January 9 2013

Saints flank Calum Clark and Gloucester back duo Billy Twelvetrees and Freddie Burns have all made the England Elite Player Squad.

Northampton flanker Calum Clark and Gloucester back duo Freddie Burns and Billy Twelvetrees have all been named in the England Elite Player Squad, announced on Wednesday.

Also included in the squad following his return to rugby action is Leicester blindside Tom Croft.

There are seven changes from July, with call-ups for Burns (Gloucester), Clark (Northampton), James Haskell (Wasps), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), David Strettle (Saracens), Twelvetrees (Gloucester) and Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

The requirement for an eight-man replacements' bench during the Six Nations means that the Senior squad has been extended to 33 and Mako Vunipola (Saracens) moves up from the Saxons.

There are seven changes to the Saxons squad with Elliott Daly (London Wasps), Kyle Eastmond (Bath), Will Fraser (Saracens), Shaun Knight (Gloucester), Ed Slater (Leicester), Joel Tomkins (Saracens) and Billy Vunipola (London Wasps) all making their first appearances this season. Billy Vunipola will train with the senior squad in Leeds (January 20-25) while Croft (Leicester) continues his return-to-play programme.

“The fact that we have spent significant time deliberating over quite a few players shows how tough the competition is to get into this 65 and the strength in depth that is emerging,” said England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster.

“We have made some changes to both squads and we feel that reflects the players' form during the first half of the season. There will undoubtedly be movement between the two squads as we go through the RBS 6 Nations and that was evident in the QBE Internationals, with players in form pushing through such as Freddie Burns, Joe Launchbury, Tom Youngs and Mako Vunipola.

“This is a very important year for England, with the Six Nations and the Saxons games to look forward to so there are some great opportunities for the players to demonstrate their club form at international level. The summer tour to Argentina will also be a great chance for those players pushing for a place, especially with some of our Senior squad hopefully going with the Lions, and chances will undoubtedly arise as we hope to play two midweek games as well as the two Tests.”

EPS squad:

Forwards: Calum Clark (Northampton Saints), Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (London Wasps), Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Ben Morgan (Gloucester), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers), David Wilson (Bath), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

Backs: Chris Ashton (Saracens), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Freddie Burns (Gloucester), Danny Care (Harlequins), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), Alex Goode (Saracens), Jonathan Joseph (London Irish), David Strettle (Saracens), Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

Saxons squad:

Forwards: Mouritz Botha (Saracens), Nathan Catt (Bath Rugby), Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers), Paul Doran Jones (Northampton Saints), Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints), Will Fraser (Saracens), Joe Gray (Harlequins), Graham Kitchener (Leicester Tigers), Shaun Knight (Gloucester Rugby), Matt Kvesic (Worcester Warriors), Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors), David Paice (London Irish), Tom Palmer (London Wasps), George Robson (Harlequins), Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers), Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks), Billy Vunipola (London Wasps).

Backs: Nick Abendanon (Bath Rugby), Anthony Allen (Leicester Tigers), Tom Biggs (Bath Rugby), Elliot Daly (London Wasps), Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), George Lowe (Harlequins), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Joe Simpson (London Wasps), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby), Joel Tomkins (Saracens), Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins), Christian Wade (London Wasps), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens).