England name Exeter youngster in Old Mutual Internationals Squad

October 26, 2017

The make-up of the England squad for the upcoming old Mutual international series has been revealed by head coach Eddie Jones.

A total of 34 men make up the group that will travel to Portugal for a training camp before assembling at Pennyhill Park on November 5th before the opening match against Argentina on November 11th

Sam Simmonds could make his debut in the opening match. The 22-year old Exeter Chiefs player has been called up for the first time. With 13 tries in his 27 appearances last season, he was one of the key reasons the Devon side won the Premiership for the first time. 

The training squad will also feature 18 year-old Marcus Smith of Harlequins and 20 year-old Zach Mercer from Bath Rugby, although they will be there as apprentices and will not be part of the matchday squads. 

England's opening game of the season will be the fourth against the Pumas in 12 months, with England beating them at Twickenham last autumn and then twice in Argentina in the summer, despite the absence of several players away with the Lions.

Speaking about the encounter, Jones said: “Our first match against Argentina in the Old Mutual Wealth Series is a significant game for England and everything we have been doing in our training camps so far this season has been geared around getting the detail right in our preparation on how we want to play and win against them next month."

He added that after England's recent winning run against Argentina the priority is to "make sure our record against them is 4-0".

England will follow this game with further Old Mutual Autumn Internationals against Australia on November 18th and Samoa on November 25th.

The matches will offer Jones a chance to assess the depth of his squad, with a number of players missing through injury or suspension. These include Manu Tuilagi, Billy Vunipola, Jack Nowell and Joe Marler. 

Australia are likely to prove the toughest opponents this autumn, having beaten New Zealand 23-18 last weekend. 

Image: Getty, from Keith Prowse subscription 

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