Stuart Lancaster adds Dylan Hartley to England squad for All Blacks tour
Dylan Hartley is among 16 players added to Stuart Lancaster's England squad for tour of New Zealand
Stuart Lancaster has added 16 players to his squad for this month’s tour in New Zealand after Saturday’s Aviva Premiership final.
Eight of the players come from Amlin Challenge Cup and Premiership champions Northampton Saints with a further six from Heineken Cup and Premiership runners-up Saracens.
Experienced hooker and Saints captain Dylan Hartley, who had been a doubt for the tour with a shoulder injury before coming through 45 minutes off the bench in Northampton’s dramatic 24-20 extra-time victory, heads the forwards which his team-mate Courtney Lawes and Saracens number 8 Billy Vunipola.
Chris Ashton, the Heineken Cup’s leading try-scorer this season, is included with fellow Saracens backs Alex Goode, Brad Barritt, Richard Wigglesworth and Owen Farrell with Luther Burrell and Lee Dickson heading a quartet of Saints backs.
“We are looking forward to the guys flying in and adding to the group,” Lancaster said. “We watched the Aviva Premiership final and the England XV game against the Barbarians and are pleased with how the players performed and came through.
“There are no major injuries which would prevent anyone flying and, with four big games to come, we are confident there will be opportunities for everyone on the tour.
“It is great to be able to work with a wider group and we feel that the younger players will really benefit from the experience of coming to New Zealand, understanding the culture and challenging themselves in this the most competitive of environments.”
Bath’s Anthony Watson joins up after an improvement to a hamstring strain with Harlequins tighthead prop Kyle Sinckler, who played for an England XV which lost 39-29 to Barbarians on Sunday, has also been called up taking the touring party to 47 players.
England squad additions (16)
Forwards: Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Alex Waller (Northampton), Tom Wood (Northampton).
Backs: Chris Ashton (Saracens), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints), Lee Dickson (Northampton), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Ben Foden (Northampton), Alex Goode (Saracens), Stephen Myler (Northampton), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens).