Jones includes 15 uncapped players for Argentina tour

Ross Houston
April 22, 2017

Jones would not take questions on the British & Irish Lions announcement when he sat there minutes after confirming England's squad for their two-Test tour of Argentina, but what he did say was that he wants this bunch of fresh faced - some barely shaving - to be challenging the Lions select.

Will Collier (Harlequins, uncapped), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, uncapped), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, uncapped), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 3 caps), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap), Dylan Hartley - captain (Northampton Saints, 84 caps), James Haskell (Wasps, 75 caps), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints, 5 caps), Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 8 caps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, uncapped), Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 42 caps), Matt Mullan (Wasps, 15 caps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 55 caps), Sam Underhill (Ospreys/Bath Rugby, uncapped), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 50 caps).

"Dylan Hartley will lead the side again having captained excellently during the Six Nations and will be supported by vice-captains Mike Brown, Danny Care and George Ford".

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Solomona's inclusion in the squad came after a meeting with the England coach in Sale's gym.

Solomona is one of 15 uncapped players who will tour Argentina, among them back row prospect Sam Underhill who has become eligible for England after leaving the Ospreys for Bath.

"I don't think it's something you aspire to, it's something that happens".

Yet much attention will surround the new faces named by Jones, including cross-code star Denny Solomona and four teenagers - London Irish wing Joe Cokanasiga, Saracens lock Nick Isiekwe and Sale Sharks' 18-year-old back-row twins Tom and Ben Curry. "He has that ability when he gets the ball to score a try", Jones said. "To win the [2019] World Cup we need to have the best and that is our ultimate aim".

"I've played with the Ellas and they were hard to work out who was who", he recalled. It's a new squad - half of them don't even know where Dublin is - so it's like starting from day one.

The squad will assemble at The Lensbury on Sunday 29 May to begin their preparations for the two-Test tour which sees England play at Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario, San Juan on Saturday 10 June and Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao Lopez, Sante Fe on Saturday 17 June. He's still got a lot of work to do on his game, positionally, but we can work on those areas with him. The talent there is just so exciting.

"I believe they are they are for the taking", he said. The only thing the senior players ought to ask of them is to tone it down.

For players like Marland Yarde, Teimana Harrison, Tommy Taylor and Mike Williams who have been in and around the England mix but will spend the summer on the beach, Jones tells them the door is not closed, but the promotion and elevation of youth sends another reminder that little is guaranteed under Jones.

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