We take a look at some of the most notable omissions from the latest England Senior and Saxons sides set to tour Australia and South Africa respectively…
Although it is rumoured Ashton turned down a spot on the Saxons tour, it still remains a bit of a head scratcher he didn’t return to the England fold having previously been called up for the Six Nations before suspension ruled him out. He has been in fine form since his return from suspension and still remains one of England’s deadliest finishers, whilst his defence has improved.
The Northampton utility back has been a revelation this season. Saints return to form this season seemed to coincide with the introduction of Mallinder into the side where he formed an impressive centre pairing with Luther Burrell. Mallinder also did a stellar job covering as full back and looks to have all the natural talents to see him kick on next season and push for senior caps.
Haywood has spent far more time in the Northampton starting line up than many would have expected thanks to Dylan Hartley’s suspensions, injuries and international call ups. It is a testament to the development of Haywood that the England captain hasn’t been too badly missed during his absences, and the young hooker can’t now do much more to earn a call up.
Injuries continue to hamper Addison’s progress at Sale, however when he has put together an injury free run he has proven to be one of the brightest emerging talents in the Premiership. He’s an elusive runner who isn’t afraid to put his body on the line and the fact he can cover both wing and centre would make him a huge asset, particularly as bench cover for any England side.
After a slow start to proceedings at Leicester, Barrow has more than lived up to expectations and has now become a key figure in the Tigers second row. His work rate is phenomenal and he has proven he isn’t afraid to do the grunt work to allow those around him to succeed. The biggest issue he now faces is the level of competition to break into the England second row.
Given just two scrum halves have travelled with both the senior and Saxons sides respectively this summer, it is amazing at least one more hasn’t been included as extra cover. Chudley has arguably been one of the top performing nines in the Premiership this season and must be the first name in Eddie Jones’ contact book should any of his current scrum halves pick up an injury.
The Saracens man has had a stellar season having finally managed to put together an injury free run in the first team. In fact, he has been so good that Saracens were able to let Jacques Burger retire before the end of the season. Given the lack of actual opensides in either England side, it seems incredible that Fraser hasn’t at least been given a shot for the Saxons side.
Affectionately known as “The Little Dumper Truck”, Thacker has burst onto the scene this season with a series of man of the match performances. Although his size is a concern at the top level, he must surely have shown enough in a Tigers shirt this season to justify at least having a crack with the Saxons, even if hooker is already oversubscribed.
Another openside who has had a fine season, yet seems to have been overlooked once again despite the clear need to a breakdown specialist. Wallace is becoming an increasingly important member of the Harlequins back row and could be set to push on again next season if given the chance to take on a bigger role at the Stoop.
The Ospreys flanker has been the talk of the English press for several months now and it appears the biggest barrier to him making one of the England sides was the overseas rule. If this is the case, it’s a huge shame he has missed out as he is only in Wales for university, and already looks set to return to England at the first possible opportunity.
The Leicester man has continually been on the fringes of repeated England squads but competition for places and injuries have seen him miss out numerous times. England have great depth at lock these days, however it is hard to see why Kitchener has missed out on at least making the Saxons side given some of those who got in ahead of him.
With Joe Marler ruling himself out of the Australia tour, many had expected Waller to be called up as cover. Somehow though he has missed out on both the senior and the Saxons sides with the only plausible explanation surely being he is in need of a rest. Waller is now a proven Premiership performer and can’t be too far off a future England call up if he maintains his form.
The London Irish lock is a New Zealand native but qualifies for England and given his form for the relegated Premiership side, seems an ideal candidate for the South African tour. The biggest concern now will be that with Irish being relegated, a year in the Championship may see him disappear off the England radar, at least temporarily.
Another young London Irish player who has been one of the few bright sparks in an otherwise dismal season. With just one full season of Premiership experience under his belt it is perhaps understandable that he missed out on this summer’s tours, but at the same time, the Saxons tour provides him with the ideal opportunity to be eased into the England environment.
The Worcester Warriors full back was very close to forcing his way into the England side before his team were relegated to the Championship. He still remains a top quality full back, and given the drop off in the position after Mike Brown and Alex Goode, having one more senior 15 involved with the England side certainly wouldn’t have been a bad thing.