Kyle Sinckler will miss England’s summer tour of Australia as he continues to recover from an ongoing back injury, further depleting Eddie Jones’s ranks before the crucial three-Test series against the Wallabies.
It is understood that Bristol and England have agreed that Sinckler should spend the summer at home and recuperate from the back issue that he sustained during the Six Nations. Sinckler managed the injury after returning to Bristol following England’s disappointing campaign but has not featured for the Bears since their Champions Cup exit in April.
Jones is already without Manu Tuilagi, Henry Slade and Sam Simmonds for the trip to Australia and Sinckler’s absence compounds his problems. Will Stuart is the most senior tighthead prop named in the 35-man squad on Monday but he has just four Test starts to his name. He did, however, start England’s most recent match against France in March.
It is understood that Sinckler does not require surgery but the decision was made to rest over the summer with a view to being fully fit for the start of next season. When he was omitted from last month’s training squad, the Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam said: “Kyle came back from the Six Nations with niggles and we have been working with him and talking with England, with the medical teams and the S&C teams, everyone is working to get rid of all these niggles and to get back him back to full fitness.”
In better news for England, Jonny May returns to the squad, having just made his comeback from a long-term knee injury and in a further boost for Jones, May’s fellow wing Jack Nowell also comes back into the squad after returning from a broken arm. Joe Launchbury is another player conspicuous by their absence, however.
May came off the bench for the last 25 minutes of Gloucester’s 54-7 win over Saracens on Saturday for a first appearance since January, having missed the Six Nations. Jones has wasted little time recalling the 32-year-old wing, however, calling May into the 35-man squad for a three-day camp in south-west London.
Jones was this week unable to select players from the four clubs who have reached Saturday’s Premiership semi-finals, meaning call-ups for a number of inexperienced players. Paolo Odogwu is among them, having not featured in an England squad since the 2021 Six Nations, while his Wasps team-mates Biyi Alo and Charlie Atkinson are also among the uncapped players called up.
In total there are 16 uncapped players in the squad, including the London Irish full-back Henry Arundell, while there are notable returns for Nowell and Jonny Hill of Exeter. Nowell started Exeter’s win over Harlequins on Saturday following the broken arm sustained against France and while Hill has yet to make his comeback from a lower leg injury suffered in January, Jones has seen fit to call the second-row into the squad. Luke Cowan-Dickie and Anthony Watson – two more long-term injury absentees – have also been called in to continue their rehabilitation from knee and calf problems respectively.
Of the players called into an England camp for the first time, the Exeter prop Patrick Schickerling is a stand-out inclusion. The 24-year-old was born in Namibia but joined the Chiefs in 2018. Bristol’s Sam Jeffries and Gloucester’s Freddie Clarke, who has been in impressive form for the Cherry & Whites of late, are also first-time call-ups.
Jones, who will on Sunday name a squad for the Barbarians fixture on 19 June which will include losing semi-finalists, said: “With a number of players unavailable because of the Premiership semi-finals, we’ve got the opportunity to call up some new players. It’s a great opportunity to learn about them and see what potential they have to play a part in the Australia tour. We look forward to continuing the good work from our last camp in developing this team on and off the pitch.”