Joe Launchbury and Mako Vunipola in England 23 to face Fiji

Joe Launchbury

Uncapped forwards Joe Launchbury and Mako Vunipola have been included in England's 23-man squad to face Fiji.

England begin their autumn international schedule at Twickenham on Saturday.

Amongst those returning to play for their clubs this weekend are forwards James Haskell, Mouritz Botha, Ben Morgan and uncapped Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns.

Coach Stuart Lancaster will name his starting XV on Thursday.

Lancaster says the potential of England's squad excites him, with Wasps lock Launchbury and Saracens prop Vunipola attracting extra attention.

"Saturday is a great opportunity for us to put a marker down and deliver a quality performance," said Lancaster.

"It's great to have young players such as Mako and Joe get their opportunities in the matchday 23 and we are excited about the potential of the squad."

Lancaster has had to deal with selection headaches throughout the week as a result of injuries.

London Irish centre Jonathan Joseph was ruled out after failing a fitness test on an ankle problem but will return to the training camp for treatment, as will injured Northampton pair Courtney Lawes and Dylan Hartley.

Lancaster has named Harlequins flanker Chris Robshaw, 26, as England captain for the autumn series.

England face Fiji, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand at Twickenham over consecutive weekends.

Fiji have called up Gloucester's in-form flanker Akapusi Qera to their squad ahead of Saturday's match.

The 28-year-old, who has won 26 caps, had initially committed himself to his club throughout the autumn Test period, but Gloucester confirmed they have agreed to a request from the Fijian management.

Released players:

Anthony Allen (Leicester Tigers), Mouritz Botha (Saracens), Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby), Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (London Wasps), Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby), George Robson (Harlequins), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby).

England squad to face Fiji:


Props: Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), David Wilson (Bath Rugby). Hookers: Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers), David Paice (London Irish). Locks: Tom Palmer (London Wasps), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers), Joe Launchbury (Wasps). Back-rows: Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, captain), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints).


Full-backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Alex Goode (Saracens). Wings: Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby). Centres: Brad Barritt (Saracens), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers). Fly-halves: Owen Farrell (Saracens), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers). Scrum-halves: Danny Care (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).