Tom Wood set to lead youthful England side on summer tour
England's Stuart Lancaster names Tom Wood as captain for the Red Rose's three-match tour in Uruguay and Argentina
Tom Wood has been selected to captain an England side containing 11 uncapped players for this summer’s Barbarians game and three-match tour to Uruguay and Argentina.
Northampton Saints flanker Wood was one of England’s shining lights in the 2013 Six Nations, starting at No8 in four of the five games due to an injury to Ben Morgan.
And with Stuart Lancaster opting to rest regular skipper Chris Robshaw, the England head coach has turned to Wood to lead a youthful squad into battle against the Barbarians and on their three-match tour to Uruguay and Argentina.
The England squad includes five players who are 21 or under, the youngest of whom is London Wasps No8 Billy Vunipola, who represented England Under 20s last year.
Robshaw isn’t the only England regular to be given a rest with Danny Care, Toby Flood, Brad Barritt and Chris Ashton also not making the journey to South America, while Anthony Allen and James Haskell were not considered on medical grounds.
Lancaster said: “We’re really looking forward to this tour and we’ve selected a young and exciting side which I’m sure will do the country proud in a tough series of matches.
“The key principles in selection were threefold: first and foremost to win the games but also to develop strength in depth and more options in certain positions, and to give one or two players a physical and mental break.
“We feel we’ve got the balance right and have given places to a number of players who have shone in the Aviva Premiership this season, one or two who have been on the fringes for a while, and several players who have been involved over the last year or so. This is everyone’s chance to step up.
“Tom Wood will captain the side and I am sure he will do a fantastic job, as he has the respect of all the players and management and we are looking forward to other leaders developing in the absence of some senior players.
“A few are being rested after a hard campaign but they will, of course, be considered by the British & Irish Lions should they be required.”
Forwards: Dave Attwood (Bath), Rob Buchanan (Harlequins), Calum Clark (Northampton Saints), Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Paul Doran Jones (Northampton Saints), Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), Matt Kvesic (Worcester Warriors), Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Ben Morgan (Gloucester), David Paice (London Irish), Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers), Henry Thomas (Sale), Billy Vunipola (London Wasps), Rob Webber (Bath), David Wilson (Bath), Tom Wood (Northampton, captain).
Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Freddie Burns (Gloucester), Lee Dickson (Northampton), Kyle Eastmond (Bath), Ben Foden (Northampton), Alex Goode (Saracens), Jonathan Joseph (London Irish), Jonny May (Gloucester), David Strettle (Saracens), Joel Tomkins (Saracens), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester), Christian Wade (London Wasps), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens), Marland Yarde (London Irish).