Jones hails 'new England side' as he names six rookies in 6N squad

Eddie Jones hails ‘a new England side’ as head coach includes six uncapped players into Six Nations squad – with one eye on the 2023 Rugby World Cup… as he the defends inclusion of ‘winner’ Owen Farrell in 36-man party

Eddie Jones believes his six rookies are ready to make a big impact with a ‘new England’ in the Six Nations after he gave a firm backing to his returning captain Owen Farrell.

Jones’ 36-man party for the start of the Championship includes uncapped players Alfie Barbeary, Orlando Bailey, Ollie Chessum, Luke Northmore, Tommy Freeman and Ollie Hassell-Collins.

Experienced internationals Mako and Billy Vunipola, George Ford, Elliot Daly, Manu Tuilagi and Sam Underhill have all been left out because of form or fitness concerns.

Eddie Jones believes this is a new era for English rugby after naming his Six Nations squad

Jones admitted he is keen to see how the likes of Barbeary – who has been in stellar form for Wasps this season – fare with the 2023 World Cup in France on the horizon.

‘This Six Nations is the fourth last campaign we have before the World Cup in 2023 so it’s an important opportunity for us to keep building the team,’ he said.

‘We’re looking forward to integrating some new young players into the squad. We’ve only got one thing in mind and that’s firstly the Six Nations and then the World Cup after that.

‘They (the uncapped players) are in the squad because we feel they can make a contribution to the team. There is no reason why they can’t.

‘They’re all good young players who have showed enough at club level to suggest they can do it at Test level. We’re looking forward to seeing how quickly they adapt.

‘It’s a new England side and we’ve moved on from the last Six Nations.’

Alfie Barbeary is one of six uncapped players named by Jones in his 36-man squad on Tuesday

Jones confirmed the 100-cap Farrell will lead England despite the 30-year-old not having played since suffering an ankle injury which required surgery against Australia last autumn.

Farrell is due to return for Saracens against London Irish in the European Challenge Cup on Sunday.

Asked why Farrell was the right man to captain his side, Jones said: ‘Because he has the respect of the team, he’s a winner, and he drives the competitive instinct of the team.

‘He’s due to play this week, has another training week, and then he’ll be eligible for selection. We’ll have to see where he’s up to.’

Jones refused to close the door on Mako and Billy Vunipola and Ford returning to Test rugby, but their omission once again means their international days look numbered.

Owen Farrell’s inclusion is a controversial one, but Jones has decided to stick by his captain



Alfie Barbeary (Wasps, uncapped), Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, 5 caps), Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, uncapped), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 31 caps), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 36 caps), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 4 caps), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 26 caps), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 31 caps), Jamie George (Saracens, 61 caps), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps), Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 12 caps), Maro Itoje (Saracens, 51 caps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 90 caps), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 10 caps), Joe Marler (Harlequins, 74 caps), Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 2 caps), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 9 caps), Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 47 caps), Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 15 caps)


Mark Atkinson (Gloucester Rugby, 1 cap), Orlando Bailey (Bath Rugby, uncapped), Owen Farrell (Saracens, 94 caps), Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, uncapped), George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 5 caps), Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish, uncapped), Max Malins (Saracens, 10 caps), Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 7 caps), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 69 caps), Luke Northmore (Harlequins, uncapped), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 34 caps), Raffi Quirke (Sale Sharks, 2 caps), Harry Randall (Bristol Bears, 2 caps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 43 caps), Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 5 caps), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 5 caps), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 112 caps)

As he was in the autumn, Ford has again been left out despite his superb form for Premiership leaders Leicester. Bailey, 20, has been selected despite his Bath side winning just once all season. Back-row Barbeary has been in England’s squad before, but the 21-year-old’s impressive performances for Wasps mean he is the most likely of Jones’ new faces to feature in the Six Nations.

England, who finished a disappointing fifth in 2021, begin their 2022 campaign with a Calcutta Cup clash with Scotland on February 5.

‘Alfie hasn’t been picked on the back of his last game, he’s been picked on the back of what we’ve seen over the last two seasons,’ said Jones.

‘He’s got an extraordinary ability to break tackles and carry the ball forward in close contact. He came in as a hooker and ended up as a No 8. He feels his best position is in the back-row and we agree with him. I’m looking forward to seeing how quickly he can move forward into Test rugby. 

‘Hassell-Collins is a big strong winger who breaks tackles. We believe Tommy can play full-back or wing and possibly 13. He’s got a natural feel for the game.

‘Orlando has done very well in a team that’s been struggling. He can take the ball to the line, is a strong defender, and can play 10, 12 or 15. We’re particularly looking for multi-skilled backs players who are going to be important not only in this Covid era, but also going forward to the World Cup.

‘Northmore is another one out of Cardiff Metropolitan University. It seems to be a popular breeding ground for Test match rugby players.

‘He runs strong lines, carries well through contact, and has got good footwork.’

Jones revealed Bath back-row Underhill and Saracens back Daly were left out on fitness grounds and that centre Tuilagi has only a 50 per cent chance of featuring in the Six Nations.

Tuilagi is currently out with a hamstring injury suffered in the win over South Africa last autumn.

‘He’s had a wee setback,’ Jones said of his midfield powerhouse.

‘We’ll just have to wait and see where he’s up to. He’ll need to get some good training form and play a few games.’ 

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