ENGLAND have named uncapped Wasps duo Jack Willis and Jacob Umaga in their squad for the Six Nations finale against Italy and Autumn Nations Cup.
Willis (pictured) was expected to be picked in the 36-man party following a blockbusting season in which he emerged as the Gallagher Premiership’s foremost breakdown specialist, but Umaga’s inclusion is a surprise.
The 22-year-old is chosen ahead of Exeter’s Joe Simmonds and could win his first cap in Rome on Saturday due to being one of only two fly-halves present alongside Owen Farrell.
Henry Slade is also included fresh from his heroics in helping the Chiefs defeat Wasps 19-13 in the Premiership final on Saturday and has experience at ten.
England have been bolstered by the availability of seven players who took part in a captivating climax to the domestic season at Twickenham, including Willis, Umaga and Slade.
Completing the list are Exeter tight five forwards Jonny Hill and Harry Williams and Wasps lock Joe Launchbury and scrum-half Dan Robson.
Also present for the first time since the World Cup is Bath wing Joe Cokanasiga, whose season has been hindered by a serious knee injury.
England have reported a number of fresh injuries in hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie, wing Ali Crossdale and flanker Mark Wilson.
It also appears that full-back Elliot Daly, fly-half George Ford and prop Joe Marler will miss the showdown with Italy when England will be playing for the title. All three are listed as reconditioning.
Ford’s absence has created an opportunity for Umaga with Eddie Jones naming his team to face Italy on Thursday morning.