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Johnson names England rugby squad for autumn internationals

New England rugby team manager Martin Johnson named his first squad on Tuesday leaving out thirteen of the players who travelled to New Zealand last month. Veterans Mike Tindall and Ben Kay have been relegated to the England Saxons along with Joe Worsley, Michael Lipman, Richard Wigglesworth, Topsy Ojo, David Strettle and Mike Brown.

The selection illustrates Johnson's plan to play attacking rugby, with uncapped Wasps' New Zealand Maori international Riki Flutey included in the backs alongside the returning pair of James Simpson-Daniel and Josh Lewsey. London Irish director of rugby, Brian Smith, will be installed as attack coach next month.

But Johnson's squad is light on international experience with only five of the thirty players selected having played in the 2003 World Cup. England face a series of heavy duty autumn internationals when they take on the Pacific Islands, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

England squad:

Forwards: S Borthwick (Saracens), G Chuter (Leicester), J Crane (Leicester), T Croft (Leicester), D Hartley (Northampton), J Haskell (Wasps), N Kennedy (London Irish), L Mears (Bath), L Moody (Leicester), L Narraway (Gloucester), T Palmer (Wasps), T Payne (Wasps), T Rees (London Wasps), S Shaw (Wasps), A Sheridan (Sale), M Stevens (Bath), P Vickery (Wasps).

Backs: O Barkley (Gloucester), D Care (Harlequins), H Ellis (Leicester), T Flood (Leicester), R Flutey (Wasps), S Geraghty (London Irish), D Hipkiss (Leicester), J Lewsey (Wasps), J Noon (Newcastle), P Richards (London Irish), P Sackey (Wasps), J Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester), M Tait (Sale), T Varndell (Leicester), J Wilkinson (Newcastle).

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