England Six Nations squad: Jamie George captain, Billy Vunipola & Kyle Sinckler dropped

England Six Nations squad- Jamie George captain, Billy Vunipola & Kyle Sinckler dropped Last updated on2 hours ago2 hours ago. From the sectionEnglish Rugby

Hooker Jamie George will captain England in the 2024 Six Nations in the absence of Owen Farrell.

Farrell, 32, ruled himself out of this year’s championship to prioritise his and his family’s mental wellbeing.

Number eight Billy Vunipola and prop Kyle Sinckler are among the notable omissions.

Centre Henry Slade and hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie, who both missed out on the Rugby World Cup, are recalled.

Exeter Chiefs wing Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, born and brought up in Cardiff, is among seven uncapped players in the squad.

Chandler Cunningham-South, Ethan Roots, Oscar Beard, Fraser Dingwall, Tom Roebuck and Fin Smith are the others who have yet to play for England.

Northampton’s Smith effectively fills in for Farrell after being named alongside George Ford and Marcus Smith as the fly-half options.

The 21-year-old, who has helped Saints to the top of the Premiership, was in last season’s Six Nations squad but failed to make an appearance.

Slade was a shock omission from England’s World Cup squad while Cowan-Dickie missed the tournament because of injury.

Both Vunipola and Sinckler were part of Borthwick’s squad as they claimed third place in France.

Scrum-half Ben Spencer, who was last capped by England during the 2019 World Cup final defeat against South Africa, also returns to the pool following his impressive form for Bath.

“Building on the foundations of what the England team achieved in the World Cup, I have selected a squad that provides strong continuity and experience, while at the same time providing an opportunity to develop the talent of a number of new and less experienced players,” Borthwick said.

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England’s Six Nations squad

Forwards: Ollie Chessum, Dan Cole, Alex Coles, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Chandler Cunningham-South, Ben Curry, Theo Dan, Alex Dombrandt, Ben Earl, Ellis Genge, Jamie George (capt), Joe Heyes, Nick Isiekwe, Maro Itoje, Joe Marler, Beno Obano, Tom Pearson, Ethan Roots, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill.

Backs: Oscar Beard, Danny Care, Elliot Daly, Fraser Dingwall, Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, George Ford, Tommy Freeman, George Furbank, Ollie Lawrence, Alex Mitchell, Tom Roebuck, Henry Slade, Fin Smith, Marcus Smith, Ben Spencer, Freddie Steward.

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George captains start of new era

Borthwick heavily relied on Saracens hooker George during England’s third-place finish at the World Cup.

The 33-year-old played the full 80 minutes in both the quarter-final victory over Fiji and semi-final defeat by South Africa, which is rare for a modern-day front rower.

Alongside the absence of Farrell, who has been linked with a move to Racing 92, the international retirements of 2019 World Cup finalists Courtney Lawes, Ben Youngs, Jonny May and Mako Vunipola have left a large hole of experienced campaigners.

Leicester trio George Martin, Anthony Watson and Jack van Poortvliet as well as Sale’s Manu Tuilagi and Raffi Quirke were not considered because of their injuries. Tom Curry was ruled out of the Six Nations and possibly the rest of the season last November.

“Jamie has been a respected leader in this group for a number of years now,” Borthwick said on the hooker’s appointment.

“He is a quietly influential character who has an excellent tactical understanding and who sets high standards, whilst building strong relationships with the people around him.”

Farrell has captained England since 2019 and led his nation at the last two World Cups.

“I don’t underestimate the challenge ahead. Owen is a fantastic motivator and tactician, and we will undoubtedly miss his leadership,” George said.

“But I have got brilliant people around me, many of whom have won major tournaments. The squad is in a great place to build off some really strong performances at the Rugby World Cup.”

Last season’s Six Nations was the first time Borthwick took charge of England as he stepped in following the sacking of Eddie Jones. The 44-year-old’s side won only two games, against Italy and Wales, to finish fourth.

England start their 2024 campaign away against Italy on 3 February, before hosting Wales on 10 February.

A trip to Murrayfield follows on 24 February, before Ireland arrive at Twickenham on 9 March and Borthwick’s side travel to France on 16 March on the final weekend.

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