Tom Youngs cut from England squad ahead of Six Nations
- Credit: PA
Tom Youngs has been dropped from England's Elite Player Squad ahead of the Six Nations.
The Norfolk-born hooker is among 10 players to be cut from England's squad following last year's unsuccessful home World Cup campaign, as new coach Eddie Jones makes a fresh start.
The forward's younger brother, scrum-half Ben, retains his place and will continue his battle with Danny Care for the number nine jersey.
The brothers, who played junior rugby for both Holt and North Walsham, have been a regular part of England squads in recent years when fit.
The Leicester Tigers duo were part of the successful British & Irish Lions tour of Australia in 2013 but 28-year-old Tom is now facing an uphill battle to add to his 28 caps. Ben, 26, has 52 caps to his name so far.
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Jones has named a 33-man squad to meet up at Pennyhill Park on Sunday, January 24 to begin preparation for England's opening match against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday, February 6.
The experienced Dylan Hartley – rumoured to be in line to succeed Chris Robshaw as captain – has been chosen as the senior hooker ahead of Tom Youngs, with Saracens' Jamie George and Exeter's uncapped Luke Cowan-Dickie providing his competition.
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The new Red Rose head coach, a former hooker himself, has picked Hartley and Cowan-Dickie despite both having recent injury problems which have prevented them from playing consistently.
The Australian coach, who impressively led Japan to three victories in the pool stage of the World Cup, has named seven uncapped players.
Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks), Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Ollie Devoto (Bath Rugby), Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs), Paul Hill, (Northampton Saints) and Maro Itoje (Saracens) are all included.
There are also recalls for wingers Chris Ashton (Saracens) and Marland Yarde (Harlequins), who missed out on selection for the World Cup. Gloucester back row forward Matt Kvesic is also back in the England fold.
Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi is included in the squad having last played for England in June 2014.
'We have selected a squad of players who we think can go to Murrayfield and win,' said Jones. 'This is our number one priority, to start with a win, so we have picked a squad which is a mix of experience and potential.
'The long-term strategy for England is to develop a side who can be the most dominant team in world rugby, so we have chosen a lot of new players on the growth we see in them.
'We see these players growing into England players of the future and developing into a side who can be the best in the world. Our aim is to develop a squad where there is depth and competition in every position.
'I have spoken to some of the players who have not been selected. Naturally they will be disappointed and that is how it should be.
'They know what they need to do to get back into this squad. The door is not shut for anyone. There is no such thing as a shut door because of injuries and loss of form. There will always be opportunities to anyone playing consistently well in the Premiership and Europe.'
He added: 'We will be without Manu Tuilagi for the Scotland game but we will continue to work with Leicester Tigers and Manu and see where he is as the Six Nations progresses. With big European weekends ahead there may be further changes once we assess the fitness of the players.
'I am really excited about working with England and, together with (coaches) Steve Borthwick and Paul Gustard, we hope to build a team that will reflect the level of talent that exists within the English game.'
England Senior squad for RBS 6 Nations and Elite Player Squad:
Forwards: Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby) *injury replacement for Dave Ewers (Exeter Chiefs), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Henry Thomas (Bath Rugby) *injury replacement for Kieran Brookes (Northampton Saints), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Backs: Chris Ashton (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Ollie Devoto (Bath Rugby) *injury replacement for Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Alex Goode (Saracens), Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs) *injury replacement for Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Marland Yarde (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)