Rugby

Eddie names Hartley as skipper for Argentina Tests

2017-04-20 11:55
Eddie Jones (File)

Twickenham - Former Samoa rugby league international Denny Solomona was selected in the England squad announced by coach Eddie Jones on Thursday for June's two-Test tour of Argentina.

Sale wing Solomona, qualified for England on residency grounds, was one of 15 uncapped players in a 31-man squad.

Solomona's selection was controversial for several reasons.

His cross-code move from English Super League rugby league club Castleford to Premiership rugby union side Sale remains a matter of dispute between the two sides.

And the New Zealand-born flyer's selection by England comes just weeks before World Rugby, rugby union's global governing body, introduces rules extending residency qualifications for all those wishing to change countries from three years to five.

These are coming in amid concerns that Pacific island nations in particular are suffering a talent drain because of better financial opportunities in wealthier countries.

But there is no denying Solomona's talent, with the 23-year-old Auckland-born wing having scored 10 tries in 13 appearances for Sale since joining the northwest side in December. 

There was also a place in the squad for uncapped 20-year-old flank Sam Underhill, who recently joined Premiership side Bath from Welsh regional team the Ospreys. 

Dylan Hartley remains as England captain after the hooker was overlooked for the British and Irish Lions squad for New Zealand announced Wednesday.

Meanwhile there was no rest from Test duty either for several other senior players who helped England retain their Six Nations title but missed out on the Lions, with fullback Mike Brown, flyhalf George Ford and back-rowers James Haskell and Chris Robshaw all set to face the Pumas. 

But Danny Cipriani was once again left out of an England squad by Jones.

"The squad have a great opportunity to represent their country and win for England," Jones said.

"There are a few new faces in the set-up so every training session and team meeting will count," the Australian added.

"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."

England 31-man squad announced on Thursday for a two-Test tour of Argentina in June:

Backs

Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Joe Cokanasiga (London Irish), Nathan Earle (Saracens), George Ford (Bath), Piers Francis(Auckland Blues/Northampton), Sam James (Sale), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Harry Mallinder (Northampton), Joe Marchant (Harlequins), Jack Maunder (Exeter), Jonny May (Gloucester), Henry Slade (Exeter), Denny Solomona (Sale)

Forwards

Will Collier (Harlequins), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter), Ben Curry (Sale), Tom Curry (Sale), Charlie Ewels (Bath), Ellis Genge (Leicester), Dylan Hartley (Northampton, captain), James Haskell (Wasps), Paul Hill (Northampton), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Sam Underhill (Ospreys/Bath), Harry Williams (Exeter), Tom Wood (Northampton)

Fixtures:

June 10: 1ST TEST v Argentina, San Juan

June 17: 2ND TEST v Argentina, Santa Fe

Read more on:    england  |  eddie jones  |  dylan hartley  |  rugby
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