October 23 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Norfolk brothers Ben and Tom Youngs have been confirmed in England coach Stuart Lancaster’s plans for the RBS Six Nations Championships.
The Leicester pair have been named in Lancaster’s Elite Player Squad for the competition although Tigers’ team-mate Toby Flood’s England career looks to be over after he was omitted in favour of George Ford.
Flood will join French Top 14 side Toulouse in the summer and only “exceptional circumstances” allow the England boss to select overseas-based players.
“I’m disappointed that Toby’s chosen to play in France next season,” Lancaster said.“I tried to encourage him to stay at Leicester, but it’s a great opportunity for George to come in.
“Toby’s been great for us and I respect him and his decision. I’ve got a great relationship with him, but he understands our policy.
“I would rather make the decision now at this point 20 months out from a World Cup to give someone like George Ford or Stephen Myler the chance to show what they can do now.”
Lancaster said Ford’s composure in Saturday’s 27-27 draw at Leicester cemented the youngster’s elevation. Ford has progressed confidently through every England age group, and Lancaster admitted he had been earmarked for full squad elevation for some time.
Northampton’s form Premiership fly-half Stephen Myler will train with the full England squad, and Lancaster said he has a real chance to muscle into the senior set-up permanently.
“The tipping point was George’s maturity in that game, I thought that was excellent,” said Lancaster. “We’ve known about him for a long time.”
The Youngs brothers, from Aylsham, played junior rugby for both Holt and North Walsham. Hooker Tom, 26, has 12 caps for his country and scrum-half Ben, 24, has already been capped 35 times.
Forwards: Attwood (Bath), Cole (Leicester), Corbisiero (Northampton), Croft (Leicester), Hartley (Northampton), Kvesic (Gloucester), Launchbury (Wasps), Lawes (Northampton), Marler (Harlequins), Morgan (Gloucester), Parling (Leicester), Robshaw (Harlequins), B Vunipola (Saracens), M Vunipola (Saracens), Wilson (Bath), Wood (Northampton), Tom Youngs (Leicester).
Backs: Ashton (Saracens), Barritt (Saracens), Brown (Harlequins), Burns (Gloucester), Care (Harlequins), Dickson (Northampton), Eastmond (Bath), Farrell (Saracens), Foden (Northampton), Ford (Bath), Goode (Saracens), Tuilagi (Leicester), Twelvetrees (Gloucester), Wade (Wasps), Yarde (London Irish), Ben Youngs (Leicester).