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Rugby, Australian Football: Rugby Union: England Squad

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posted on May, 27 2003 @ 08:55 AM
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England boss Clive Woodward named three uncapped players in a 37-man squad for next month's tour to New Zealand and Australia.

Wasps centre Stuart Abbott, Gloucester back row forward Andy Hazell and Wasps flanker Paul Volley have all been chosen.

Woodward has also found a place for Bath captain Danny Grewcock, despite him being set to miss the opening two games against New Zealand Maori on June 9 and New Zealand in Wellington five days later.

Second-row forward Grewcock was sent off for punching Wasps skipper Lawrence Dallaglio during Sunday's Parker Pen Challenge Cup final.

Unless Grewcock lodges an appeal and wins it, then his two-week ban will start on June 1, but he is among five locks selected in the tour party.

Abbott, 25 next week, was born in South Africa, and played Super 12 rugby for the Stormers before moving to Wasps some 18 months ago.

He has had an outstanding campaign for the Wycombe-based club, a fact that Woodward has recognised.

Abbott's Wasps colleague Volley also gains recognition, while the call-up of outstanding Gloucester prospect Hazell is no surprise.

Woodward has predictably gone with his RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam heroes for crucial Tests against New Zealand and Australia as the build-up towards this year's World Cup begins in earnest.

Martin Johnson will captain the squad, which sees a recall for Bath back Iain Balshaw following his prolonged injury problems this season, while Wasps fly-half Alex King, Newcastle centre Jamie Noon and London Irish prop Mike Worsley also make the trip.

Newcastle fly-half Jonny Wilkinson has been appointed vice-captain to Johnson.

The likes of Julian White, Louis Moody, Charlie Hodgson, Austin Healey, Ollie Smith, James Forrester and Alex Sanderson were not considered because of injuries.

Woodward also announced today a 23-man squad for next month's inaugural Churchill Cup competition in Vancouver, where England will meet Canada and the USA.

In addition, the tour party, coached by ale Sharks pair Jim Mallinder and Steve Diamond, will also meet Japan.

The squad contains few surprises, although London Irish full-back Michael Horak is recalled for the first time since last summer's Argentina tour.

Wasps players are again strongly in evidence, notably centre Fraser Waters, hooker Phil Greening, prop Will Green and scrum-half Martyn Wood, who will play for Bath next season.

Wood's potential new half-back Olly Barkley makes the trip, and there are also places for Gloucester centre Henry Paul, Bristol Shoguns' Leeds-bound Phil Christophers and exciting young Sale Sharks forward Chris Jones.

The 56 times-capped Bath back Mike Catt would have been a candidate for either tour, but he has reached mutual agreement with Woodward that although now fit following a lengthy hamstring injury, he would be better off taking part in what England describe as a period of "optimised conditioning" during the summer months.


Backs: J Lewsey (Wasps), J Robinson (Sale Sharks), I Balshaw (Bath), B Cohen (Northampton), D Luger (Harlequins), J Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester), W Greenwood (Harlequins), M Tindall (Bath), S Abbott (Wasps), B Johnston (Saracens), J Noon (Newcastle), J Wilkinson (Newcastle, vice-capt), P Grayson (Northampton), A King (Wasps), M Dawson (Northampton), K Bracken (Saracens), A Gomarsall (Gloucester).

Forwards: J Leonard (Harlequins), M Worsley (London Irish), T Woodman (Gloucester), G Rowntree (Leicester), P Vickery (Gloucester), S Thompson (Northampton), M Regan (Leeds), D West (Leicester), M Johnson (Leicester, capt), B Kay (Leicester), D Grewcock (Bath), S Borthwick (Bath), S Shaw (Wasps), R Hill (Saracens), J Worsley (Wasps), N Back (Leicester), A Hazell (Gloucester), P Volley (Wasps), M Corry (Leicester), L Dallaglio (Wasps).

Tour schedule:

June 9: New Zealand Maori (New Plymouth).

June 14: New Zealand (Wellington).

June 21: Australia (Melbourne).



The England squad for the Test series against Canada, the USA and Japan.


Backs: D Scarbrough (Leeds), M Horak (London Irish), P Christophers (Bristol Shoguns), M Cueto (Sale Sharks), H Paul (Gloucester), F Waters (Wasps), O Barkley (Bath), D Walder (Newcastle), M Wood (Wasps), N Walshe (Sale Sharks).

Forwards: D Flatman (Saracens), N Hatley (London Irish), W Green (Wasps), A Sheridan (Bristol Shoguns), A Titterrell (Sale Sharks), P Greening (Wasps), M Cairns (Saracens), T Palmer (Leeds), A Brown (Bristol Shoguns), C Jones (Sale Sharks), H Vyvyan (Newcastle), P Anglesea (Sale Sharks), D Hyde (Leeds)

Woodward revealed it looks as though Grewcock and Bath will appeal against his sending off in Sunday's final.

"I spoke with Danny at length yesterday. It is his opinion and my opinion that Bath are going to appeal," Woodward said.

"Pending that appeal, I will make a final decision as to whether he actually goes on the tour or not.

"If the appeal is unsuccessful then I will consider whether it is worth taking him to potentially play in one game. If I don't take Grewcock, then Tom Palmer will switch across from the squad that is going to Canada.

"I will make a final decision when I know the outcome of the appeal."

Bath have got 72 hours to decide on a possible appeal after receiving written confirmation of Sunday's disciplinary hearing in Reading, which was conducted by independent match commissioner Brian McLaughlin.



TRD

posted on Jun, 21 2003 @ 10:05 AM
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Brilliant England ended 40 years of hurt in Australia by beating the world champion Wallabies 25-14 on Saturday after 10 failed attempts Down Under.

It was another mighty performance by Martin Johnson's men, just seven days after they toppled the All Blacks in New Zealand.

And the effect of both results will remove any lingering doubt - especially in the southern hemisphere - about England's World Cup credentials.

On current form, Johnson and company must be favourites to lift rugby union's ultimate prize. They now have less than four months to wait before returning Down Under and launching their World Cup campaign against Georgia in Perth.

The tournament cannot come soon enough from an English perspective. Never, it would appear, has an England team had such a golden chance of achieving global supremacy.



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