Robinson announces England shake-up

England head coach Andy Robinson has named seven uncapped players in a 30-man squad for the Twickenham clash against World Cup favourites New Zealand on November 5. [more]

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England head coach Andy Robinson has named seven uncapped players in a 30-man squad for the Twickenham clash against World Cup favourites New Zealand on November 5.

Robinson’s selection amounts to a radical player shake-up on the back of five successive Test match defeats.

The England boss has called up 20-year-old Gloucester backs Olly Morgan and Anthony Allen, 21-year-old Newcastle fly-half Toby Flood, Wasps wing Paul Sackey and his club colleague Tom Rees, Bristol scrum-half Shaun Perry and Sale Sharks prop Stuart Turner.

The selection of 34-year-old Turner is undoubtedly Robinson’s surprise pick, although tighthead cover for Julian White was thin on the ground.

Morgan, Allen and Flood are three of the most exciting young prospects in English rugby, with Allen impressing Lions and Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll during Gloucester’s Heineken Cup defeat against Leinster last weekend.

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Sackey, meanwhile, is among the Guinness Premiership’s most prolific try-scorers, and 22-year-old flanker Rees has recaptured top form following a series of injury setbacks.

Of the sizeable uncapped contingent though, Perry has arguably the most realistic chance of starting against New Zealand in a match to mark the opening of Twickenham’s new South Stand, which will increase capacity to 82,000.

Robinson said: "The squad includes a good mix of experience, and also gives an opportunity for some of the newcomers to the elite squad to push further their claims for a starting place at some point during the four Test matches in November.

"I would like to congratulate the uncapped players for all making the 30-man squad. They have been in excellent form for their clubs.

"I will amend and add to the squad for the Argentina game (on November 11) to ensure that no player starts more than three of the four (autumn) games.

There are no places for World Cup winners Phil Vickery, Lawrence Dallaglio, Steve Thompson and Mike Tindall, who recently began their comebacks from injury, or Joe Worsley, Simon Shaw or Mike Catt.

Injuries have ruled out the likes of Jonny Wilkinson, Steve Borthwick and Olly Barkley, while a captaincy announcement – Martin Corry and Pat Sanderson are favourites – will not be made until next Monday, when Robinson announces his starting line-up to face the All Blacks.

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