England go with 12

England have selected 12 Lions in their 2010 Six Nations squad. [more]

England go with 12

England have selected 12 Lions in their 2010 Six Nations squad.

Former Lions skipper and now England team manager Martin Johnson has chosen eight players who toured with the Lions in 2009, plus four more from 2005.

Tom Croft, Lee Mears, Tim Payne, Simon Shaw, Andrew Sheridan, Harry Ellis, Riki Flutey and Ugo Monye all get the nod having appeared for Britain and Ireland’s elite last summer, while Lewis Moody, Julian White, Mark Cueto and Jonny Wilkinson are included five years after facing the All Blacks with Sir Clive Woodward’s Lions.

Mears, Sheridan, Ellis, Flutey and White all missed the entire autumn series through injury, with Shaw also absent for the first two fixtures before returning for the final Test against New Zealand.

As injury concerns still surround both Vickery and White, Johnson will make a final decision on their inclusion on January 25.

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Fellow Lion Joe Worsley, along with Gloucester centre Mike Tindall, is not included in the party but his fitness will be monitored and he could be recalled before or during the tournament.

Rugby League converts Chris Ashton and Shontayne Hape provide the major talking points in a 32-man training squad that also sees Nick Easter, Delon Armitage and Toby Flood recalled after injury. 

Ashton currently tops the Guinness Premiership tryscoring charts for high-flying Northampton, while ex-New Zealand Rugby League international Hape has been one of only a few bright sparks in a lacklustre Bath side. 

There is no place in the senior squad for Wasps’ starlet Danny Cipriani or centres Shane Geraghty and Ayoola Erinle who both featured at Twickenham in November.

England Elite Player Squad

Forwards: Steffon Armitage (London Irish), Steve Borthwick (Saracens), Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers), Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers), Nick Easter (Harlequins), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Stade Francais), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Lee Mears (Bath Rugby), Lewis Moody (Leicester Tigers), Tim Payne (London Wasps), Simon Shaw (London Wasps), Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks), Steve Thompson (CA Brive), Julian White (Leicester Tigers), David Wilson (Bath Rugby) 

Backs: Delon Armitage (London Irish), Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins), Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks), Harry Ellis (Leicester Tigers), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), Riki Flutey (CA Brive), Shontayne Hape (Bath Rugby), Dan Hipkiss (Leicester Tigers), Paul Hodgson (London Irish), Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Mathew Tait (Sale Sharks), Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon)

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