Ben and Tom Youngs named in England training squad for Six Nations
- Credit: PA
Norfolk brothers Ben and Tom Youngs have been named in England's 34-man training squad for the upcoming Six Nations tournament.
The call-up is especially good news for elder brother Tom, who has not featured for England since the end of last season's Six Nations.
The 27-year-old missed the tour of New Zealand last summer because of his wife's health issues and then missed all of the Autumn Internationals with a shoulder injury.
Tom – capped 17 times by England – and Dylan Hartley are named as the senior hookers in the squad, with Rob Webber and Luke Cowan-Dickie in the Saxons squad.
Younger brother Ben – with 38 caps to his name – retains his place in Stuart Lancaster's squad, having reclaimed the starting scrum-half place from Danny Care during an encouraging autumn campaign for the 25-year-old.
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The Leicester Tigers duo, who played junior rugby for Holt and North Walsham, will now be hoping to be in the squad for England's opening match against Wales in Cardiff on Friday, February 6.
Boss Lancaster will retain his 34-man training squad until he selects his first match squad for the Wales clash, on February 4.
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The England squad will meet at their Pennyhill Park base to start preparations on Monday, January 26.
The big news of today's squad announcement was that Danny Cipriani and Nick Easter had been handed the chance to reignite their Test careers in England's senior training squad, with rugby league convert Sam Burgess also handed World Cup lift-off.
Burgess' conversion has been fast-tracked by his selection to England's second-string Saxons squad, while Cipriani and Easter come in from the cold.
Cipriani featured in two of England's three Tests in New Zealand last summer, breaking a five-year international exile, but was omitted for the autumn series.
The 27-year-old has been mulling over a summer move to Toulon, but will stay at Sale if he can win the right to compete for a World Cup place.
Easter has not played for England since the 2011 World Cup, where he infamously commented 'that's £35,000 down the toilet' after the loss to France.
'It's great to welcome back some of those players unavailable for the QBE internationals in the autumn,' said head coach Stuart Lancaster.
'They offer us a lot of quality and experience, so too Nick Easter, who has played well for Harlequins.
'With the injury to Ben Morgan, both he and Tom Waldrom in the Saxons will provide us with specialist number eight options alongside Billy Vunipola.
'That's something we feel we need going into the tournament.'
Gloucester loose forward Morgan's broken leg opened the door for Easter, who pleaded his case in a recent meeting with Lancaster.
The 36-year-old proved his desire to resurrect his Test career after signing a new two-year Harlequins contract.
Cipriani becomes the fourth fly-half in England's squad, and will compete with George Ford, Owen Farrell and Stephen Myler for selection.
Bath's league convert Burgess will line up for the Saxons as expected in their Friday, January 30 clash against Ireland Wolfhounds in Cork.
The former South Sydney battering ram should partner Exeter's Henry Slade in midfield.
England boss Lancaster has chosen to replace Manu Tuilagi in his training squad with Bath's Jonathan Joseph, with the Leicester talisman still struggling with groin trouble.
Tuilagi is not expected to recover in time to play any part in the competition, but Lancaster has retained the right to bring him back into his squad if he regains full fitness.
Leicester lock Graham Kitchener slots in for Courtney Lawes who is expected to miss at least the first two matches with ankle trouble.
Lawes is another that Lancaster will keep available in case he returns in time to feature in the latter stages of the tournament.
Dan Cole is also named in the squad despite still suffering from a foot injury, among six returning British and Irish Lions who missed the autumn.
Tom Croft has been named in the Saxons, alongside Saracens Under-20s graduate Maro Itojoe.