LONDON (Reuters) – England coach Eddie Jones consisted of eight players but retained most of his World Cup group when he named a 34-man squad for the Six Nations Championship on Monday.
England head coach Eddie Jones after the REUTERS / Hannah McKay match
Jones included 22 players from Japan, where England lost to South Africa in the final, but many of those absent are injured, including Billy Vunipola, who broke his arm for the fourth time on Sunday.
Prop Dan Cole, who had a hard time against the Springboks in the final, was an expected omission, while versatile defender Jack Nowell was also missing, although Jones, who will hold a press conference later on Monday, could reveal injury concerns.
Tom Dunn, Ben Earl and Ollie Thorley from the no-cap group have been in previous squads, while Fraser Dingwall, George Furbank, Alex Moon, Will Stuart and Jacob Umaga have been called up for the first time.
In addition to the 34 players, Josh Hodge, who plays in the second tier championship, and Alex Mitchell have been appointed as apprentices and will only train with the squad.
"The Guinness Six Nations is about raising standards in terms of how we prepare, tactically and physically, and how we stand out," said Jones in a statement.
“Our first job is to defeat France (on February 2nd in Paris) and that's the only game we have to worry about. We will start our preparations in Portugal, get some sun and some warm conditions, and prepare ourselves physically and mentally for the game.
“The first three days are about organizing yourself. We have players from 11 clubs, so we have to get everyone on the same page quickly, spend a lot of time working on our togetherness, and then prepare for France by Tuesday next week. "
England will gather at its regular Pennyhill Park base on Wednesday and travel to Portugal on Thursday, from where they will travel straight to Paris for their opening game.
England have not won the championship since 2017 and finished second last season and fifth in 2018.
England six nations squad:
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 21 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 19 capsules)
Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, without cap)
Ben Earl (Saracens, without cap)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 12 capsules)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 14 capsules)
Jamie George (Saracens, 45 capsules)
Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors, 1 cap)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 34 capsules)
George Kruis (Saracens, 41 capsules)
Joe Launchbury (wasps, 62 capsules)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 81 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 6 caps)
Joe Marler (Harlequin, 68 capsules)
Alex Moon (Northampton Saints, without cap)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 31 capsules)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, without cap)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 15 capsules)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 58 capsules)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps).
Elliot Daly (Saracens, 39 capsules)
Ollie Devoto (Exeter Chiefs, 1 cap)
Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, without cap)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 79 capsules)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 65 capsules)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints, without cap)
Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 9 caps)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 47 caps)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 52 caps)
Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby, without cap)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 40 capsules)
Jacob Umaga (wasps, without cap)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 42 capsules)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 95 capsules)
Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, without cap)
Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons, without cap)
Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editor of