Lynagh gets first England call up as Eddie wields the axe for Tests against Wallabies, Boks and Tonga

Five senior players have been left out of Eddie Jones’s squad as England prepares for rugby Tests against Australia, Tonga and South Africa. Eddie Jones has omitted five senior players including the Vunipola brothers and occasional captain George Ford and inserted young Louis Lynagh for his first England squad of the northern hemisphere autumn. Billy […]

Lynagh gets first England call up as Eddie wields the axe for Tests against Wallabies, Boks and Tonga

Five senior players have been left out of Eddie Jones’s squad as England prepares for rugby Tests against Australia, Tonga and South Africa.

Eddie Jones has omitted five senior players including the Vunipola brothers and occasional captain George Ford and inserted young Louis Lynagh for his first England squad of the northern hemisphere autumn.

Billy and Mako Vunipola have both been left out and also missing from the 45-man training group that will gather in southwest London for a three-day camp on Sunday are fellow Saracens players Jamie George and Elliot Daly.

The 20-year-old Lynagh is the son of Australia rugby great Michael Lynagh, who was a Rugby World Cup winner in 1991 and has been living in England since 1996.

The young winger was born in Italy, grew up in London and has come through the English rugby system to play for Harlequins in the Premiership.

Completing the list of purged veteran internationals who have been mainstays of the Jones era is Ford, the Leicester fly-half who has been one of the Australian’s most trusted lieutenants.

Like Billy Vunipola, Ford was given the summer off rather than play in the July Tests against the United States and Canada.

Mako Vunipola, Daly and George were involved in the recent British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa yet cannot win places in the squad that will begin preparations for matches against Tonga, Australia and South Africa.

While some, or even all, of the omissions may be intended as warning shots across the bows of under-performing players, it could yet represent the biggest changing of the guard of Jones’ reign.

Other seasoned campaigners Ben Youngs, Owen Farrell, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Jonny May and Anthony Watson have survived the cull.

Nine of the 16 new caps awarded against the USA and Canada are present in Jamie Blamire, Trevor Davison, Alex Dombrandt, Joe Heyes, Lewis Ludlow, Adam Radwan, Harry Randall, Marcus Smith and Freddie Steward.

And there are eight uncapped players in Mark Atkinson, Jack Kenningham, Louis Lynagh, Gabriel Oghre, Raffi Quirke, Sam Riley, Bevan Rodd and Ollie Sleightholme.

“This is an exciting squad made up of experienced players and young guys who did well in the summer and have earned their place again,” Jones said.

“We have left out some experienced players but we’re really clear that the door isn’t closed to them and we’re looking forward to seeing them work hard to get back into contention.

“We have five campaigns now until the 2023 World Cup so each one counts, and this is a chance for this 45 to impress the new coaching staff.”

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‘I thought someone was taking the p—‘: Ikitau’s classic response to meteoric Wallabies rise

Australia’s rookie star Len Ikitau has revealed his first thought when Dave Rennie messaged him last year to invite him into the Wallabies camp. “I thought someone was taking the piss and lying,” the 22-year-old said on Tuesday after it was revealed he had re-signed with the Brumbies and Wallabies until after the 2023 World […]

‘I thought someone was taking the p—‘: Ikitau’s classic response to meteoric Wallabies rise

Australia’s rookie star Len Ikitau has revealed his first thought when Dave Rennie messaged him last year to invite him into the Wallabies camp.

“I thought someone was taking the piss and lying,” the 22-year-old said on Tuesday after it was revealed he had re-signed with the Brumbies and Wallabies until after the 2023 World Cup.

Ikitau made his international debut against France this season and has played every game in the centres during The Rugby Championship.

His excellent campaign was capped with a try double in the Wallabies 30-17 win over South Africa in his hometown Brisbane on Saturday night.

(Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

“I scored two tries, but they were team tries I guess, I was in the right place,” Ikitau said. “I feel like I’m just trying to get better each week and improve my game.”

Ikitau started all games of the Brumbies Super Rugby games at No.13 this year scoring six tries including a match winner against the Hurricanes.

He was picked as a bolter in Rennie’s first Wallabies squad last year after less than 80 minutes of Super Rugby.

It was, he admits, a huge transition and one he struggled with last year.

“When I was in the squad, I was too shy or didn’t want to speak to anyone, kept to myself and I guess a year later it’s different, I’m much more confident in myself and my ability so I’m just happy to be in the squad again,” he said.

There has been plenty of change in the Wallabies centres with Hunter Paisami, Matt Toomua and Samu having spent time there, along with Ikitau having to fit alongside two fifferent No.10s in Quade Cooper and Noah Lolesio.

“It’s been good having Quade there and [James O’Connor] now,” he said. “They’re experienced, they’ve done it all in the game. And that was good to learn from them and keep learning.”

Ikitau sat beside former Brisbane Boys College schoolmate Darcy Swain at Tuesday’s press conference in Townsville.

“He had a big left foot step and two massive shoulders,” Swain said when asked about his early impressions of Ikitau.

“I remember he came out of school for his first session down in Vikings and the man was benching 140 for eight, it was ridiculous for an 18-year-old, I can’t even do 120kgs for one now.

“He’s a big unit so his physicality, he’s one of the most physical centres in the game, and on top of that he’s elusive with great skills and he’s always had that from a young age, he’s just gotten better.”

Ikitau gave thanks to his teammate for helping through his early shyness.

“There was a couple of times I just wanted to go home and he kind of stopped me from doing that, so I’m just thankful for having Darcy there,” Ikitau said.

Swain meanwhile revealed a Wallabies commitment to “project themselves” as force to be reckoned with ahead of the 2023 World Cup.

“At the start of camp we pitched the idea of the World Cup in two years,” Swain said. “Not knowing who will be there but, regardless, it’s about what we can do now for the team in order to project ourselves to where we want to be in a couple of years time.

“Every week is important. It’s building momentum now. And making sure that we play the right type of footy and give ourselves confidence that we can build and build and build towards that.

“The last two games were great wins but they count for nothing if we don’t back it up.”

He said Argentina are a great side despite losing all four matches so far in TRC.

“We know they play with a lot of physicality and a lot of passion,” said Swain.

“We’ll give them the same respect as we give South Africa and New Zealand. Knowing, that there’s going to be threats and at the same time opportunities, we’re going to have to be good both sides of the ball.”

The Wallabies are on a high after the Springboks double but Swain said “from a team perspective, that that means bugger all if we don’t go out there and do it again.

“No one will remember winning two games against South Africa, everyone will remember us losing against Argentina.

“We’ve got to be we’ve got to be just as good if not better this week against the passionate Argentina.”

Source : The Roar More   

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