Elliot Daly has been left out of the England squad to face the Barbarians this weekend as Eddie Jones begins his final preparations for their Six Nations showdown with Italy.
The non-Test international will be the only game that Jones gets to prepare his squad before they head to Rome for the delayed final day of the Six Nations, before a four-game Autumn Nations Cup programme follows through November and December.
Saracens’ utility back Daly was the notable omission from a 32-man squad, though it has not yet been confirmed if the 28-year-old was absent due to injury or selection. Having been a mainstay of Jones’ plans since he took over nearly five years ago, the former is more likely.
Jones is also unable to call up any players from Premiership finalists Exeter Chiefs and Wasps, who meet this Saturday, as well as Bristol Bears as the European Challenge Cup winners remain on stand-by for the Twickenham showdown as Wasps struggle to contain a coronavirus outbreak among their playing squad.
It means the likes of Henry Slade, Jack Nowell, Joe Luanchbury and Kyle Sinckler are all unavailable for this weekend’s clash against the Baa-Baas.
Jones has recalled Alex Moon, Fraser Dingwall and Piers Francis to the squad that trained in south-west London last weekend, with nine uncapped players included. Jones has also elected to bring Harlequins prop Joe Marler back into the camp for ‘reconditioning’, having recently undergone surgery on his knee that was expected to rule him out of the bulk of the autumn fixtures.
“This is an important game for us and we’re looking forward to getting back to Twickenham and playing rugby,” Jones said.
“We’ve had two really good camps, going back to basics and how we want to play. The Barbarians squad has a rich blend of talent, so this week we’ll be testing ourselves under pressure and looking to take our game to the next level.”
Ali Crossdale, Saracens
Fraser Dingwall, Northampton Saints
Owen Farrell, Saracens
George Ford, Leicester Tigers
Piers Francis, Northampton Saints
George Furbank, Northampton Saints
Willi Heinz, Gloucester Rugby
Jonathan Joseph, Bath Rugby
Ollie Lawrence, Worcester Warriors
Joe Marchant, Harlequins
Jonny May, Gloucester Rugby
Alex Mitchell, Northampton Saints
Ollie Thorley, Gloucester Rugby
Anthony Watson, Bath Rugby
Ben Youngs, Leicester Tigers
Tom Curry, Sale Sharks
Alex Dombrandt, Harlequins
Tom Dunn, Bath Rugby
Charlie Ewels, Bath Rugby
Ellis Genge, Leicester Tigers
Jamie George, Saracens
Joe Heyes, Leicester Tigers
Ted Hill, Worcester Warriors
Maro Itoje, Saracens
Alex Moon, Northampton Saints
Beno Obano, Bath Rugby
David Ribbans, Northampton Saints
Will Stuart, Bath Rugby
Sam Underhill, Bath Rugby
Billy Vunipola, Saracens
Mako Vunipola, Saracens
Mark Wilson, Newcastle Falcons