George Ford, Jamie George and Mako and Billy Vunipola are all notable absentees from Eddie Jones’ England squad for the upcoming autumn internationals, while uncapped Gloucester centre Mark Atkinson is a richly deserved inclusion in the side.
The 31-year-old is not the only uncapped call-up, with Sale scrum-half Raffi Quirke, Northampton full back Tommy Freeman and Leicester hooker Nic Dolly also rewarded their strong starts to the season.
After a composed performance from the tee in Saracens’ hammering of Bath yesterday, Owen Farrell is once again named captain and is set to face stiff competition for the 10 shirt from Harlequins’ Marcus Smith.
Despite scarily pulling up with a knee injury yesterday in Saracens’ aforementioned drubbing of Bath Anthony Watson is named, with a crowd-pleasing pick of fellow British and Irish Lion Sam Simmonds also garnering some cheers from the England faithful.
The side will take on Tonga, Australia and world champions South Africa in a rematch of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final.
England squad for Autumn Internationals:
Forwards: Jamie Blamire (Newcastle), Callum Chick (Newcastle), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter), Tom Curry (Sale), Trevor Davison (Newcastle), Nic Dolly (Leicester), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Charlie Ewels (Bath), Ellis Genge (Leicester), Jonny Hill (Exeter), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton), Joe Marler (Harlequins), George Martin (Leicester), Sam Simmonds (Exeter), Kyle Sinckler (Bristol), Will Stuart (Bath), Sam Underhill (Bath)
Backs: Mark Atkinson (Gloucester), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Tommy Freeman (Northampton), George Furbank (Northampton), Max Malins (Saracens), Jonny May (Gloucester), Raffi Quirke (Sale), Adam Radwan (Newcastle), Harry Randall (Bristol), Henry Slade (Exeter), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Freddie Steward (Leicester), Manu Tuilagi (Sale), Anthony Watson (Bath), Ben Youngs (Leicester)