Stuart Lancaster has added 16 players to his New Zealand tour squad, primarily drawn from Aviva Premiership finalists Northampton Saints and Saracens.
In addition to eight players from champions Northampton and six from Saracens, Harlequins’ former England Under 20 tight-head prop Kyle Sinckler joins the touring party after starting England XV’s 39-29 defeat to the Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday.
Bath Rugby’s Anthony Watson will also fly out with the squad this evening after making sufficient progress in his recovery from a hamstring strain. The group will arrive in Auckland on Wednesday morning.
Experienced hooker Dylan Hartley, a doubt for the tour with a shoulder injury, played 45 minutes off the bench in Northampton’s thrilling, last-gasp victory on Saturday and will arrive in New Zealand buoyed by a Premiership and Amiln Cup double.
Head coach Lancaster was delighted to get through the game with no new injury concerns and said despite a tour party of 47 players, there will be opportunities for all on the three-Test, four-game tour.
“We are looking forward to the guys flying in and adding to the group,” he said. “We watched the Aviva Premiership final and the England XV game against the Barbarians and are pleased with how the players performed and came through.
“There are no major injuries which would prevent anyone flying and, with four big games to come, we are confident there will be opportunities for everyone on the tour.
“It is great to be able to work with a wider group and we feel that the younger players will really benefit from the experience of coming to New Zealand, understanding the culture and challenging themselves in this the most competitive of environments.”
England squad additions (16)
Chris Ashton (Saracens)
Brad Barritt (Saracens)
Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints)
Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
Alex Goode (Saracens)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Stephen Myler (Northampton Saints)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Alex Waller (Northampton Saints)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)
Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)
Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
New Zealand tour fixtures
(live on SkySports HD, all games 1935 NZST/0835 BST)
Saturday, June 7: First Test – Eden Park, Auckland
Saturday, June 14: Second Test – Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Tuesday, June 17: Crusaders – AMI (Addington) Stadium, Christchurch
Saturday, June 21: Third Test – Waikato Stadium, Hamilton