Danny Cipriani named in England squad to tour South Africa in June

Danny Cipriani on the attack against France
Danny Cipriani's last England cap came in a World Cup warm-up game against France in 2015
England tour of South Africa
1st Test: Saturday, 9 June in Johannesburg (kick-off 16:05 BST) 2nd Test: Saturday, 16 June in Bloemfontein (kick-off 16:05) 3rd Test: Saturday, 23 June in Cape Town (kick-off 16:05)
Coverage: Live text coverage on BBC Sport website and app

Wasps fly-half Danny Cipriani has been included in a 34-man England squad for the tour of South Africa in June.

Owen Farrell has been named captain with hooker Dylan Hartley unavailable.

There are eight uncapped players in Eddie Jones' squad including Sale back Cameron Redpath, Wasps flanker Jack Willis and New Zealand-born flanker Brad Shields.

Experienced players such as scrum-half Danny Care and Lions tourists Dan Cole and James Haskell have been rested.

Saracens number eight Billy Vunipola is recalled after an injury-hit 12 months that mean he last played for England in the 2017 Six Nations.

Fly-half Cipriani, who will leave Wasps at the end of this campaign and has yet to reveal where he will play next season, won the last of his 14 England caps in 2015.

Jones said the 30-year-old had not been recalled because "I've never picked him".

"So I've picked him for the first time," added the England boss. "I've watched him play closely and he deserves an opportunity. He's got to prove he's the best 10 in the squad, or the best 15."

Asked whether Cipriani needed to be first choice to be in the squad, as Jones said in 2016, the Australian replied: "Life is full of contradictions. Three games ago I was the best thing to happen to English rugby. Now I'm the worst thing.

"If you guys are allowed to be contradictory, I'm allowed to be contradictory. I just think he'll add value to the squad at this stage."

Jones described Hurricanes blind-side Shields, who has been released from his contract by New Zealand Rugby, as an "excellent, hard-working player" who will be "great back-up to Chris Robshaw for us".

There has been controversy in the lead-up to his selection as the 27-year-old, who has English parents, has never played in England, although he will join Wasps next season.

When asked what message his selection sends, Jones said: "That's not my responsibility. My responsibility is to pick England-qualified players. I get a list of England qualified-players and I pick the best from that."

Jones added that the tour would be the "most exciting challenge for us as a group since 2016" as they seek a first ever Test-series win for England in South Africa.

Scott Wisemantel, who worked with Jones at Australia and Japan, has been brought in as an attack coach for the tour.

Sale fly-half Redpath is the 18-year-old son of former Scotland scrum-half Bryan.

England squad to tour South Africa:

Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Cipriani (Wasps), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Nathan Earle (Saracens)*, Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks)*, Dan Robson (Wasps)*, Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks), Ben Spencer (Saracens)*, Ben Te'o (Worcester Warriors), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Forwards: Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Ben Earl (Saracens)*, Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs)*, Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Brad Shields (Hurricanes/Wasps)*, Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Jack Willis (Wasps)*, Mark Wilson (Newcastle)

*Uncapped

Not considered for selection (either because of injury or being rested):

Backs: Danny Care (Harlequins), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Harry Mallinder (Northampton Saints), Joe Marchant (Harlequins), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)

Forwards: Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), George Kruis (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Will Spencer (Worcester Warriors), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)

England v South Africa head-to-head graphic

Meanwhile, Jones has also named a 31-man squad that will train in Brighton next week for the tour and for England's match against the Barbarians on Sunday, 27 May at Twickenham.

The final squad for the Barbarians match will be confirmed after the Premiership semi-finals, which will feature Saracens, Exeter, Wasps and Newcastle.

Worcester's 18-year-old centre Ollie Lawrence is among the uncapped players who will attend the camp.

England training squad:

Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Joe Cokanasiga (London Irish)*, Ben Loader (London Irish)*, Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks), Jason Woodward (Gloucester Rugby)*, George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Piers Francis (Northampton Saints), Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors)*, Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks)*, Marcus Smith (Harlequins)*, Ben Te'o (Worcester Warriors), Ben Vellacott (Gloucester Rugby)*, Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Forwards: Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks)*, Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Tom Ellis (Bath Rugby)*, Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints), Josh McNally (London Irish)*, Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby)*, Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Jono Ross (Sale Sharks)*, Elliott Stooke (Bath Rugby)*, Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), George McGuigan (Leicester Tigers)*, Beno Obano (Bath Rugby)*, Nick Schonert (Worcester Warriors)*, Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors) *

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