Gloucester's James Simpson-Daniel returns to the England set-up after being named in the Andy Robinson's 30-man training squad in the build-up to the Six Nations clash against Italy on 12 March.
The 22 year-old joins Andy Hazell and Andy Gomarsall, with Leicester's Martin Corry named as captain, and he becomes the 119th England player to receive the honour of captaining his country.
The England and Leicester Tigers number 8 has 35 England caps and has regularly captained his club. Throughout the Six Nations championship and last November's autumn internationals, Corry has played outstandingly, as part of an impressive England back row. The captaincy decision follows an injury to Jason Robinson's hand in Dublin last sunday.
Leon Lloyd of Leicester Tigers, who played for England in 2001 on the North America tour, has also been called into the squad. Nine of the 30 man England squad are from Leicester Tigers, the current Zurich Premiership leaders. Commenting on his selection, England head coach Andy Robinson said,
"Martin Corry has really impressed me with his performances for both England and Tigers this season. He has had some outstanding games. Together with other forwards such as Ben Kay, he has supported Jason Robinson by offering great leadership from the back row. I know he will step up to this challenge for this important game against Italy.
"I'd like to welcome James Simpson-Daniel back into the squad after his recent shoulder injury. Leon Lloyd has impressed for Tigers and I'm delighted to see him return to join the squad next week.
"I was unable to consider Henry Paul or Mathew Tait on this occasion as they are currently part of the England Sevens squad for the World Cup, where I am sure they will play an important part. "
ENGLAND 30 MAN SQUAD
BALSHAW, Iain - Leeds Tykes
BARKLEY, Olly - Bath
BELL, Duncan - Bath
BORTHWICK, Steve - Bath
CHUTER George - Leicester Tigers
COHEN, Ben - Northampton Saints
CORRY, Martin - Leicester Tigers - Captain
CUETO, Mark - Sale Sharks
DAWSON, Matt - London Wasps
ELLIS, Harry - Leicester Tigers
GOMARSALL, Andy - Gloucester
GOODE, Andy - Leicester Tigers
GREWCOCK, Danny - Bath
HAZELL, Andy - Gloucester
HODGSON, Charlie - Sale Sharks
JONES, Chris - Sale Sharks
KAY, Ben - Leicester Tigers
LEWSEY, Josh - London Wasps
LLOYD, Leon - Leicester Tigers
MOODY, Lewis - Leicester Tigers
NOON, Jamie - Newcastle Falcons
ROWNTREE, Graham - Leicester Tigers
SHAW, Simon - London Wasps
SHERIDAN, Andy - Sale Sharks
SIMPSON-DANIEL, James - Gloucester
SMITH, Ollie - Leicester Tigers
STEVENS, Matt - Bath
THOMPSON, Steve - Northampton Saints
TITTERRELL, Andy - Sale Sharks
WORSLEY, Joe - London Wasps
Speaking to the local media this week, John Afoa described the hard work that the Cherry and White have been putting in and that he is fighting fit ready for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final clash with Exeter Chiefs.
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
Gloucester travel to the Stoop on Saturday afternoon to take on Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership. The Cherry and Whites make just two changes from last weekend's win over Connacht as they seek consistency and continuity in their play as Nick Walshe told the local media this week.
The Gloucester Rugby Ticket office can advise that the club's initial allocation of tickets for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final has sold out. However, the club has secured an additional allocation of tickets from EPCR which will go on sale on Monday.
Following Saturday evening's exciting European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Exeter Chiefs, the Ticket Office at Kingsholm will be open on Sunday from 11am to 3pm for Club Members to purchase tickets for the Final.
Gloucester Rugby qualified for their first European final since 2006 as they defeated the in-form Exeter Chiefs by 30 points to 19 in a thrilling semi-final at Kingsholm on Saturday evening. The club photographer caught the best of the action.
Recent meetings between these two teams have often been thrillers, and this was no exception. It went down to the final few minutes, but Gloucester produced the goods when it mattered to qualify for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final, beating Exeter 30-19.