Irish dominate England squad
By Rob Lancaster. Last Updated: May 16, 2006 2:21pm
London Irish's fine season has seen them rewarded with six call-ups to the England Saxons squad for the Barclay's Churchill Cup competition.
Delon Armitage, Michael Horak, Paul Hodgson, David Paice, Kieran Roche and Nick Kennedy are all in the 24-man party, which is the equivalent of the old England A side.
Bath prop David Barnes has been named as tour captain for the six-team tournament that takes place in Toronto, San Francisco and Edmonton next month.
England are defending champions and the skipper is looking for a repeat result this time around.
"This is a group of players who really want to prove themselves on this tour," Barnes said.
"After winning the Churchill Cup last year, we are obviously going out there to retain that title, and this is also an ideal opportunity to press for full England selection ahead of the World Cup."
Gloucester flanker Luke Narraway and Saracens wing Richard Haughton will not depart with the rest of the squad on May 29 due to England Sevens commitments.
Meanwhile, England head coach Andy Robinson has named six Saxons in a 24-man squad for the match against the Barbarians on May 28.
With no Leicester or Sale players available due to the Guinness Premiership final, the fixture should give several players a chance to impress before the summer tour to Australia.
England Saxons squad for Barclays Churchill Cup competition in Canada and USA:
Backs: D Armitage (London Irish), M Horak (London Irish), S Vesty (Leicester), P Sackey (Wasps), R Haughton (Saracens), B Johnston (Saracens), A Erinle (Wasps), C Bell (Leeds), A Crockett (Bath), S Drahm (Worcester), P Hodgson (London Irish), R Wigglesworth (Sale Sharks), C Stuart-Smith (Llanelli).
Forwards: D Barnes (Bath, capt), M Ward (Newcastle), R Morris (Newcastle), S Turner (Sale Sharks), D Paice (London Irish), J Buckland (Leicester), J Hudson (Bath), K Roche (London Irish), D Schofield (Sale Sharks), N Kennedy (London Irish), A Beattie (Bath), D Seymour (Saracens), L Narraway (Gloucester), B Woods (Newcastle), J Forrester (Gloucester).
England 24-man squad for Gartmore Challenge match against the Barbarians:
Backs: M Van Gisbergen (Wasps), I Balshaw (Leeds), T Voyce (Wasps), P Sackey (Wasps), J Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester), J Noon (Newcastle), M Tait (Newcastle), M Catt (London Irish), S Abbott (Wasps), O Barkley (Bath), P Richards (Gloucester), N Walshe (Bath).
Forwards: D Barnes (Bath), T Payne (Wasps), D Bell (Bath), L Mears (Bath), D Paice (London Irish), K Roche (London Irish), A Brown (Gloucester), J Hudson (Bath), P Sanderson (Worcester, capt), J Worsley (Wasps), M Lipman (Bath), J Forrester (Gloucester)