|2023 Six Nations|
|Dates: 4 February-18 March|
|Coverage: Selected matches on BBC TV and BBC iPlayer with live text commentary and BBC Radio 5 Live commentary on every match.|
Billy Vunipola has been left out of Steve Borthwick’s 36-man England squad for the Six Nations.
Other high-profile omissions include experienced wings Jonny May and Jack Nowell.
Borthwick has recalled 35-year-old veteran prop Dan Cole, who last played for England in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final. Cole has 95 caps for England.
Northampton fly-half Fin Smith is one of five uncapped players in the squad.
Four more new caps were awarded to London Irish wing Ollie Hassell-Collins, Gloucester hooker George McGuigan, and Harlequins pair Cadan Murley and Jack Walker.
In addition to the players in excellent form in the Premiership, this is an exciting squad with a blend of Six Nations experience and young talent,” Borthwick said.
England Six Nations squad
Forwards: Ollie Chessum, Dan Cole, Ben Curry, Alex Dombrandt, Ben Earl, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Joe Heyes, Jonny Hill, Nick Isiekwe, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, George McGuigan, Bevan Rodd, Sam Simmonds, Kyle Sinckler, Mako Vunipola, Jack Walker, Jack Willis.
Backs: Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, Tommy Freeman, Ollie Hassell-Collins, Dan Kelly, Max Malins, Joe Marchant, Alex Mitchell, Cadan Murley, Henry Slade, Fin Smith, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Manu Tuilagi, Jack van Poortvliet, Ben Youngs.
“We are all looking forward to the challenges of the Six Nations, and we will approach this great tournament with a spirit of courage and total commitment,” said Borthwick, who was appointed on 19 December after Eddie Jones was sacked following a run of five wins in 12 Tests in 2022.
The players can’t wait to return to Twickenham and give our fans something to cheer about.
“The hard work for the Scotland game starts now.”
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Borthwick announced Owen Farrell as England’s captain, with Ellis Genge and Courtney Lawes as vice-captains, who returned to the squad after injury.
The former Leicester head coach also says he has been told unequivocally by the RFU’s legal department that Farrell will be available for England’s opener against Scotland, regardless of the controversy over the terms of his suspension for making contact with Gloucester forward Jack Clement’s head.
England welcome back forwards Ben Curry, Alex Dombrandt and Nick Isiekwe, as well as backs Elliot Daly, Dan Kelly, Max Malins and Joe Marchant.
After playing Scotland at Twickenham on 4 February, England will host Italy on 12 February.
Next up is a trip to Wales on 25 February, followed by a home game against 2022 champions France on 11 March. The season concludes on 18 March with a match against Ireland in Dublin.
The Six Nations precedes the World Cup, which starts in France on 8 September.