Gloucester Rugby are well represented as England Team Manager, Martin Johnson and Elite Rugby Director Rob Andrew, today announced the 32 man England Senior Elite Player and Saxons Elite Player squads.
Mike Tindall and Olly Morgan are named in the Senior Elite squad with Luke Narraway and Nick Wood named in the Saxons set up.
Tindall returns after missing out on recent England action due to injury. Morgan and Wood were both in the senior set up for the two Tests against Argentina but didn't feature in the games themselves whilst Narraway toured Canada and the USA with the Saxons side who competed in the Churchill Cup.
Martin Johnson said:
"Selection for the two squads has been very difficult because there is a greater strength in depth of players to choose from now than we had 12 months ago."
"The England players on the British & Irish Lions tour have played exceptionally well and this has allowed us to look at other players in the two matches against Argentina and in the Churchill Cup."
"We feel we have made considerable progress as a squad during the course of last season and we are looking forward to building on this during the August training camp and into the Investec Challenge internationals in November against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand."
"There is strong competition for places within both of the squads but there will also be opportunities, as there were last year for movement between the Seniors and the Saxons and for players to come in from outside the 64 because of injury, retirement or suspension."
"Delon Armitage and Mark Cueto are good examples of the latter and Ugo Monye and Joe Worsley have earned Lions caps after being originally selected in the Saxons."
"Our selections include players based in France and Rob Andrew and I have had extensive discussions with the French clubs, who have recruited English players and these have gone well."
"We are looking forward to continuing the positive working relationship with them, which worked so well last season."
"We will continue to monitor the form and fitness of the following players who were involved with England last season with a view to inviting them to training sessions as appropriate; Andy Goode, James Haskell, Tom May, Jamie Noon, Tom Palmer and Steve Thompson."
The England Senior Elite Player and Saxons squads will meet on Sunday August 9 for their pre-season training camp, which will run through to *Friday August 14.
ENGLAND SENIOR ELITE PLAYER SQUAD
Steffon Armitage (London Irish), Steve Borthwick (Saracens), George Chuter, (Leicester Tigers), Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers), Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers), Nick Easter (Harlequins), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Ben Kay (Leicester Tigers), Lee Mears (Bath Rugby), Tim Payne (London Wasps), Tom Rees (London Wasps), Simon Shaw (London Wasps), Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks), Phil Vickery (London Wasps), Julian White (Leicester Tigers), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Joe Worsley(London Wasps)
Delon Armitage (London Irish), Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins), Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks), Harry Ellis (Leicester Tigers), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Riki Flutey (CA Brive), Dan Hipkiss (Leicester Tigers), Paul Hodgson (London Irish), Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Olly Morgan (Gloucester Rugby), Mathew Tait (Sale Sharks), Mike Tindall (Gloucester Rugby), Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon)
ENGLAND SAXONS SQUAD
Richard Blaze (Leicester Tigers), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Nick Kennedy (London Irish), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Matthew Mullan (Worcester Warriors), Tom Mercey (Saracens), Lewis Moody (Leicester Tigers), Luke Narraway (Gloucester Rugby), David Paice (London Irish), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Will Skinner (Harlequins), George Skivington (London Wasps), Dan Ward-Smith (London Wasps), Rob Webber (London Wasps), Nick Wood (Gloucester Rugby), Ben Woods (Leicester Tigers)
Nick Abendanon (Bath Rugby), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Danny Cipriani (London Wasps), Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), Shane Geraghty (Northampton Saints), Topsy Ojo(London Irish), Stephen Myler (Northampton Saints), Paul Sackey (London Wasps), Joe Simpson, (London Wasps), David Strettle (Harlequins), Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins), Sam Vesty (Leicester Tigers), Dominic Waldouck (London Wasps), Richard Wigglesworth(Sale Sharks), Micky Young (Newcastle Falcons)
- All players clubs listed are as per July 1, 2009
* England will be hosting an open training session for fans at Twickenham Stadium on Wednesday August 12 starting at 2pm.
The session will form part of Twickenham Stadium's centenary celebrations in 2009/10. Please go to www.rfu.com/centenary for more details.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
After a series of contract announcements last week, hooker Richard Hibbard is the latest Gloucester Rugby player to commit to a new contract at the club and told GRTV how much he enjoys playing in the Cherry and White of Gloucester.
Talk about a game of two halves. Things looked grim on Saturday as Gloucester trailed 0-6 to Bristol at half-time. However, Matt Scott's eighth try of the season got Gloucester off and running, and the visitors fell apart as the Cherry and Whites eased to a 26-18 bonus point Aviva Premiership win.