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No place for Tuilagi in England squad for pre-Six Nations training camp

Bath prop Beno Obano and Newcastle flanker Gary Graham have received their first call-ups.

Leicester Tigers and England centre Manu Tuilagi.
Leicester Tigers and England centre Manu Tuilagi.

MANU TUILAGI HAS been left out of an England training squad for the Six Nations as he makes his latest comeback from injury.

Tuilagi has not played for England since March of last year and has been hampered by a number of injury problems.

The centre recently made his Leicester Tigers return from knee surgery and claimed that his issues are over following a visit to a witch doctor in Samoa, the country of his birth.

But he does not yet appear to be in England coach Eddie Jones’ plans, though Billy Vunipola and James Haskell have been recalled to the 34-man party. Saracens number eight Vunipola missed the November internationals with a knee injury and Wasps flanker Haskell was left out of Jones’ squad for those Tests.

Northampton Saints lock Courtney Lawes has been left out of the squad for personal reasons. Bath prop Beno Obano and Newcastle Falcons’ openside flanker Gary Graham have received their first call-ups into the England squad.

The 34-man panel will take part in a two-day training camp in Brighton from 1 January. Eddie Jones will finalise his Six Nations squad on 18 January ahead of England’s opener against Italy in Rome on 4 February.

“This camp in Brighton is important for us to set the tone as a squad ahead of the Six Nations,” said Jones. “We will need to improve if we are to hunt down our opponents and beat them. This tournament will be exciting and challenging, as we know we will play against some very strong teams.

“Brighton will provide a great base to begin our preparations with players coming away with a clear plan for our opening match of the campaign against Italy.”

England are seeking a third successive Six Nations title, having narrowly missed out on consecutive Grand Slams this year.

England training squad:

Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Nathan Earle (Saracens), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Piers Francis (Northampton Saints), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

Forwards: Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons), James Haskell (Wasps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Beno Obano (Bath Rugby), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs).

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