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Eastmond promoted by England

01st August 2013 10:48

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Kyle Eastmond England training 2013

Step up: Kyle Eastmond

Bath centre Kyle Eastmond is one of several players promoted to the senior England Elite Player Squad for the new season.

England have made six changes with lock Dave Attwood (Bath), flanker Matt Kvesic (Gloucester), number eight Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Eastmond and wings Christian Wade (London Wasps) and Marland Yarde (London Irish) stepping up into the 33-man group.

"This was the toughest EPS selection we've had to make with fierce competition for places in every area of the squad after an excellent summer for England players at all levels," said England head coach Stuart Lancaster.

"Twelve England players were part of a victorious British and Irish Lions tour, eight others won their first caps in Argentina, a number of rested senior players will have benefited from their break and the future looks healthy after our Under 20 side won the Junior World Championship for the first time.

"Christian Wade and Marland Yarde brought their outstanding Aviva Premiership form to the tour, Kyle Eastmond showed the potential he has and by including him in the squad we get a chance to work with him some more as we build towards the autumn.

"Up front, David Attwood adds a physical presence to the second row and in Matt Kvesic and Billy Vunipola we have young back row players who will challenge our more established back row players hard.

"Unfortunately we can only have 33 in the Senior EPS but those who just missed out have plenty to offer. They are still very much in the international picture and there is flexibility built into the system that facilitates that.

There are first call-ups to the England Saxons squad for Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), one of England's Junior World Championship winners and Luke Wallace (Harlequins), as well as the return of 2007 World Cup finalist Mathew Tait (Leicester Tigers)

"Jack Nowell played well for his club, he played well for England, he's an exciting young player and the sooner we get him into the squad and start working with him the better," added Lancaster.

"Mathew Tait was in great from at the end of last season and he is a quality player. With the players we've got in the back three he's going to add to that and put pressure on the players above.

"We've got some young forwards coming through with the likes of Luke Wallace, Will Fraser, Ed Slater and George Kruis the types of players we want pushing through, then hopefully their form and fitness will push them through into the senior squad.

"The task for all of them and those in the Saxons is to be in peak form and pushing for places in the team for the QBE Internationals against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand in November. We very much see this as a 65 man squad and we regularly see players pushing into the squad and the team from the Saxons. Form and fitness will be the deciding factor in November."

Both squads will meet up at Loughborough later this month for a three-day training camp and the senior squad reconvenes a fortnight before facing Australia in November.

England Elite Player Squad:

Forwards: Dave Attwood, Dan Cole, Alex Corbisiero, Tom Croft, Dylan Hartley, Matt Kvesic, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Ben Morgan, Geoff Parling, Chris Robshaw, Mako Vunipola, Billy Vunipola, David Wilson, Tom Wood, Tom Youngs.

Backs: Chris Ashton, Brad Barritt, Mike Brown, Freddie Burns, Danny Care, Lee Dickson, Kyle Eastmond, Owen Farrell, Toby Flood, Ben Foden, Alex Goode, Manu Tuilagi, Billy Twelvetrees, Christian Wade, Marland Yarde, Ben Youngs.

England Saxons Squad:

Forwards: Calum Clark, Jordan Crane, Paul Doran-Jones, Will Fraser, James Haskell, Tom Johnson, Graham Kitchener, George Kruis, Kearnan Myall, David Paice, George Robson, Ed Slater, Henry Thomas, Thomas Waldrom, Luke Wallace, Rob Webber, Nick Wood.

Backs: Anthony Allen, Luther Burrell, Elliot Daly, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph, Jonny May, Ugo Monye, Stephen Myler, Jack Nowell, Charlie Sharples, Joe Simpson, David Strettle, Mathew Tait, Joel Tomkins, Richard Wigglesworth.

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