Denny Solomona named in England squad to tour Argentina
By Jefferson Lake
Last Updated: 20/04/17 2:19pm
Denny Solomona and Sam Underhill are among 15 uncapped players named in England's squad for their tour to Argentina.
Rugby league convert Solomona, who was born and raised in New Zealand, qualifies for England on residency grounds, and features in a 31-man party that will be captained by Dylan Hartley who was left out of the British and Irish Lions squad.
Alongside the 15 uncapped players Jones has also called on the experience of Joe Launchbury, James Haskell, Chris Robshaw and Mike Brown, who were also left out of Warren Gatland's Lions squad. However, there was no place for the Premiership's top try-scorer Christian Wade.
Instead, Eddie Jones has opted for wingers Nathan Earle and Joe Cokanasiga who join Solomona in the squad.
Jones will oversee the forwards, supported by scrum coach Neal Hatley. Defence coach Paul Gustard adds the line-out and kick-off to his coaching remit and Glen Ella will link up with the squad in Argentina to assist Jones with the attack. The former Wallaby will be supported by skills coach Rory Teague.
"We have picked the best squad we have available and we are looking forward to going to Argentina and winning 2-0," said England head coach Jones.
"The squad have a great opportunity to represent their country and win for England. There are a few new faces in the set-up so every training session and team meeting will count.
"The Pumas are a physically aggressive side and they have become very good at playing unstructured rugby; we need to make sure we control the structural part of the game and our defence will play an absolutely crucial role."
Scrum-half Jack Maunder receives his first senior call-up alongside fly-half Piers Francis - who will leave Auckland Blues for Northampton Saints later this year - Alex Lozowski and Harry Mallinder, centres Joe Marchant and Sam James.
In the forwards props Will Collier and Harry Williams are included with second-row Nick Isiekwe and back-row forwards Underhill as well as brothers Ben and Tom Curry who were excellent in England's U20 Six Nations Grand Slam campaign.
The squad play two Tests on the tour, at Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario, San Juan on Saturday June 10 and Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao Lopez, Sante Fe, a week later.
Jones has made a number of enforced changes to the coaching set-up to compensate for Steve Borthwick's absence on the Lions tour.
Jones is excited about Solomona and challenged the Sale wing to nail down a regular Test place - starting with the series opener against Argentina on June 10.
"There's something about him, he finds the line and you like wingers who find the line. He has that ability when he gets the ball to score a try," Jones added.
"I watched him play against Gloucester at the weekend. He's still got a lot of work to do on his game in terms of position, but they are areas that I think we can work on.
"I think he's got that x-factor, whatever you want to call it. He finds the line. He's got a Test coming up on June 10 and he can be a regular after that."
England's 31-man squad for Argentina tour:
Forwards: Will Collier (Harlequins), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Dylan Hartley - captain (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Sam Underhill (Ospreys/Bath Rugby), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
Backs: Mike Brown - vice-captain (Harlequins), Danny Care - vice captain (Harlequins), Joe Cokanasiga (London Irish), Nathan Earle (Saracens), George Ford - vice captain (Bath), Piers Francis (Auckland Blues/Northampton Saints), Sam James (Sale Sharks), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Harry Mallinder (Northampton Saints), Joe Marchant (Harlequins), Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs), Jonny May (Gloucester), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks)