England: Four Lions players left out as Marcus Smith named in training squad

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England coach Jones assesses teenager Smith

Four players who toured with the British and Irish Lions have been left out of a 33-man England training squad for a camp in Oxford this weekend.

Prop Kyle Sinckler, lock George Kruis, flanker James Haskell and centre Jonathan Joseph are not in the squad.

Uncapped fly-half Marcus Smith, 18, is included, as are flankers Tom Curry and Sam Underhill, who made their debuts in Argentina in the summer.

England play Argentina, Australia and Samoa in November.

Head coach Eddie Jones will name his squad for the autumn internationals on 26 October.

"This camp in Oxford is a really positive opportunity for the group to come back together and sharpen our focus and preparation ahead of our first match against Argentina," Jones said.

"This is our most important game this year and we want the players to come away from camp having trained well with a clear plan of how we want to play and win against the Pumas."

Joseph, Sinckler, Kruis and Haskell have all featured regularly under Jones, although Haskell and Kruis have only just returned from injury.

Sinckler played in all three Test matches for the Lions against the world champions, but Exeter's Harry Williams has been preferred as one of the tighthead props.

Jones said Sinckler and Joseph had areas of their game to work on, and Haskell could "100%" play for England again. "Age is not a barrier," he said of the 32-year-old.

Rising star Smith still "an apprentice"

Marcus Smith
Smith, who was born in the Philippines, only made his Premiership debut on 2 September

Harlequins' Smith, who only left Brighton College in the summer, was also included in a 37-man squad for a three-day pre-season training camp in August.

Last month, England scrum-half Danny Care tipped his Quins team-mate for a bright future in the game.

But Jones warned he would not be rushed into picking him.

"It's feasible he will clean the boots and hold the bags. He's an apprentice and we are treating him like an apprentice," he told BBC Sport.

"He needs to earn his stripes. Some people have an apprenticeship for a year, some for 30 years, we don't know with him. It depends how quickly he progresses.

"Talent gets you into a squad but hard work and desire gets you into the team."

Denny Solomona is absent after being reprimanded for a late-night drinking session during the last England camp, although Jones said that did not cost him a place, and there is no spot for in-form Bath wing Semesa Rokoduguni.


Chris Jones, BBC Radio 5 live rugby reporter

Marcus Smith is tipped to be a world-beater, and Eddie Jones clearly sees enormous potential in the youngster by drafting him into two training squads.

But while Jones says he has been enormously impressed with the way Smith has taken to Premiership rugby, he is urging caution. The Australian has called Smith an "apprentice", who is in the camps for experience and to learn the game.

At this stage, it seems unlikely Smith will feature on the international stage in the near future, but as Jones has shown with Tom Curry, he has no qualms about throwing rookies in at the deep end.

England training squad for Oxford camp

Forwards: Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens)

Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Piers Francis (Northampton Saints), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Ben Te'o (Worcester Warriors), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Marland Yarde (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

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