Bath's Rob Webber among 21 players added to England training squad
Last Updated: 19/05/14 3:18pm
Rob Webber: Bath hooker added to England training squad
England coach Stuart Lancaster has added 21 players to his preliminary squad for the clash with the Barbarians and the tour of New Zealand.
Most of the players come from beaten Aviva Premiership semi-finalists Leicester and Harlequins, including injured full-back Mike Brown, and there is also a call for Bath hooker Rob Webber.
Webber's hopes of facing the All Blacks depend on him recovering from a knee problem, but if he recovers he has every chance of starting with Dylan Hartley struggling with a shoulder injury and Tom Youngs unavailable for family reasons.
Sale duo James Gaskell and Ross Harrison complete the additions to the training squad.
The Leicester and Harlequins players will join the group later in the week after a couple of days rest, while Lancaster is hopeful Brown will be available for some part of the New Zealand tour at least after he injured a hamstring in the defeat by Saracens on Sunday.
Lancaster said: "Following the Aviva Premiership semi-finals we are keen to give the players from Harlequins and Leicester some time away before joining camp and will look to bring them in towards the end of the week.
"We've brought Rob Webber in for further assessment and treatment in order to give him the best possible chance of making the tour to New Zealand.
"James Gaskell and Ross Harrison are rewarded for their development this season and will be joining up in due course in order to prepare for the Barbarians game."
On Hartley's situation, Lancaster added: "Dylan, as you've heard from (Northampton director of rugby) Jim Mallinder, is making slower progress than hoped for with his shoulder.
"We'll monitor that with Northampton throughout the week and make a decision on him before we fly (next Tuesday). We'll wait and see how it plays out.
"With Tom Youngs, Dylan and David Paice out of the equation, if Dylan isn't going to be fit and Webber is 50/50, there will definitely be an opportunity for a hooker without much experience."
Lancaster names his final squad for the Barbarians game and the New Zealand tour next Monday - the Twickenham date with the Baa-Baas takes place on June 1 before the party heads to New Zealand.
Further players will be added to the training squad from Bath and Wasps after the Amlin Challenge Cup and European Rugby Champions Cup play-off second leg (May 23 and 24) and from Saracens and Northampton after the Aviva Premiership final on May 31.
England training squad additions:
Anthony Allen (Leicester), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Ross Buchanan (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Will Collier (Harlequins), James Gaskell (Sale), Jamie Gibson (Leicester), Joe Gray (Harlequins), Ross Harrison (Sale), Graham Kitchener (Leicester), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Charlie Matthews (Harlequins), Geoff Parling (Leicester), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Ed Slater (Leicester), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester), Luke Wallace (Harlequins), Dave Ward (Harlequins), Rob Webber (Bath), Ben Youngs (Leicester).