English Lions cross double figures

England have named 11 Lions in their senior Elite Player Squad for next month's summer tour. [more]

English Lions cross double figures

England have named 11 Lions in their senior Elite Player Squad for next month’s summer tour.

Former Lions skipper Martin Johnson has picked six 2009 tourists and a further five from the 2005 tour of New Zealand. 

Lee Mears, Tim Payne, Simon Shaw, Tom Croft, Joe Worsley and Ugo Monye all toured South Africa with the Lions last year, while Steve Thompson, Lewis Moody, Mark Cueto, Charlie Hodgson and Jonny Wilkinson were part of Sir Clive Woodward’s Lions squad in New Zealand five seasons ago. 

Both Shaw and Wilkinson have been chosen for the Lions on more than one occasion, with the Wasps lock a tourist in 1997, 2005 and 2009 and England’s World Cup winning fly-half a Lions Test player in both of the last two tours Down Under in 2001 and 2005. 

And with previous captain Steve Borthwick ruled out through injury, England look set to opt for a Lions tourist as skipper with Moody favourite to continue where he left off when England took on France in Paris two months ago. 

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Hodgson is the biggest suprise when it comes to the inclusion of the 11 Lions. The Sale playmaker has been in outstanding form for his club this season but hasn’t played for his country since the tour of New Zealand in 2008 when he was publicly criticised for his supposed defensive frailties. 

Riki Flutey, a Test Lion a year ago, misses out through injury, while fellow Lion Phil Vickery is given the summer off having only just returned from long-term injury. 

Johnson has picked nine uncapped players in his 44-man squad for the two-Test tour of Australia that also includes two games against the Australian Barbarians, one against the New Zealand Maori and a pre-tour Twickenham clash with the Barbarians. 

Gloucester lock David Attwood, Newcastle prop Jon Golding, Leicester second row Geoff Parling, Leeds flank Hendre Fourie and Bath centre Shontayne Hape are all included, as are the Wasps quartet of Joe Simpson, Dominic Waldouck, Rob Webber and Dan Ward-Smith. 

Bath centre Olly Barkley, who hasn’t played for England under Johnson, wins a recall following his fine form having recovered from a broken leg that kept him out for large parts of the season. 

"There are always opportunities for guys to come through after one season, as has happened this season with Dan Cole, Chris Ashton and Ben Youngs," Johnson told BBC Radio 5 live. 

"If you said at the start of the year that those guys would have been in the England 22 in the last game of the Six Nations, people would have doubted it. 

"Their form in the Premiership has demanded they go. When you are picking a Test team in the southern hemisphere, mid-week games are high pressure too and they give us a chance to play some of these guys. 

"It’s a big squad – deliberately so." 

England squad to tour Australia and New Zealand 

Forwards: Dylan Hartley, Lee Mears, Steve Thompson, Rob Webber; Dan Cole, Jon Golding, Paul Doran-Jones, David Flatman, Tim Payne, David Wilson; David Attwood, Courtney Lawes, Tom Palmer, Geoff Parling, Simon Shaw; Steffon Armitage, Tom Croft, Nick Easter, Hendre Fourie, James Haskell, Lewis Moody, Chris Robshaw, Dan Ward-Smith, Joe Worsley

Backs: Delon Armitage, Chris Ashton, Matt Banahan, Mark Cueto, Ben Foden, Ugo Monye, David Strettle; Mathew Tait, Mike Tindall, Dominic Waldouck, Olly Barkley, Shontayne Hape; Toby Flood, Shane Geragthy, Charlie Hodgson, Jonny Wilkinson; Danny Care, Joe Simpson, Richard Wigglesworth, Ben Youngs

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