Banahan, Armitage in Saxons squad

England World Cup duo included in 25-man squad

Last Updated: 23/01/12 5:47pm

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Matt Banahan: chance to impress for Saxons

Matt Banahan: chance to impress for Saxons

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Matt Banahan and Delon Armitage feature in the England Saxons' 25-man training squad named for Saturday's clash with Irish Wolfhounds in Exeter.

Winger Banahan and full-back Armitage both played in last year's World Cup but must content themselves with a place among the second string, along with winger Ugo Monye and back-rower Thomas Waldrom.

Centre Matt Hopper, scrum-half Paul Hodgson, prop Rupert Harden, lock Ed Slater and flanker Kearnan Myall are new additions to the squad.

Hodgson and Harden are temporary injury replacements for Karl Dickson and Henry Thomas, while Hopper, Slater and Myall replace Henry Trinder, Geoff Parling and Dave Attwood, who are attending senior squad training in Leeds this week.

"They've all got something to offer the national team, whether they're coming down from the senior squad, they've been injured, or if they're young players going up."
Jon Callard Quotes of the week

Hopper's selection comes after just 11 first-team games for Harlequins.

Longevity

"This squad has got a great deal of longevity," said England Saxons coach Jon Callard.

"They've all got something to offer the national team, whether they're coming down from the senior squad, they've been injured, or if they're young players going up.

"Everyone's got a contribution to make and it's all about the future."

The Saxons meet at Woodbury Park in Devon today and name their side to face the Wolfhounds on Thursday.

England Saxons squad:
Backs: N Abendanon (Bath), D Armitage (London Irish), M Banahan (Bath), F Burns (Gloucester), M Hopper (Harlequins), P Hodgson (London Irish), R Lamb (Northampton), J May (Gloucester), U Monye (Harlequins), B Twelvetrees (Leicester), M Young (Leicester)
Forwards: C Brooker (Harlequins), P Doran-Jones (Northampton), M Garvey (London Irish), J Gaskell (Sale), J Gray (Harlequins), R Harden (Gloucester), T Johnson (Exeter), M Mullan (Worcester), K Myall (Sale), G Robson (Harlequins), A Saull (Saracens), E Slater (Leicester), T Waldrom (Leicester), N Wood (Gloucester)

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