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Gloucester Rugby: May could earn England call-up today

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 08, 2014

Comments (45)

JONNY May could earn a call-up into England’s Elite Player Squad when boss Stuart Lancaster names his Six Nations Squad today (3pm).

Lancaster is set to retain the majority of the squad he selected ahead of the autumn campaign.

But with a lengthy casualty list giving plenty of cause for concern ahead of the Six Nations there will also be recalls, call-ups and maybe even a bolt from the blue.

Lancaster is set to retain the majority of his crocked stars, for the time being at least.

Here, rugby writer Mike Brown takes a look at who is currently in the squad, injured and in line for a call-up

Back three: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Alex Goode (Saracens) Chris Ashton (Saracens)

Injured: Christian Wade (London Wasps), Marland Yarde (London Irish) Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)

Six Nations call-up candidates: Jonny May, David Strettle, Charlie Sharples, Anthony Watson, Jack Nowell.

Verdict: Three injuries in the back three have turned this into a problem position for Lancaster but there are plenty of options available.

Watson could be a bolt out of the blue and May should join him for his prolific strike-rate in a misfiring Gloucester side.

Centres: Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints), Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby), Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby) Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby)

Injured: Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers). Joel Tomkins (Saracens)

Six Nations recall: Brad Barritt

Verdict: With Tuilagi ruled out England appear short of options that bring a real physical presence but have plenty of players that have X-factor.

Barritt will certainly be recalled and could be used alongside Twelvetrees but both are specialist inside centres. Henry Trinder has been widely tipped for the number 13 jersey but is struggling with a groin problem and may pay the price for some glaring defensive errors.

Fly-halves: Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby) Owen Farrell (Saracens), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)

Six Nations call-up candidates: Stephen Myler, George Ford, Danny Cipriani.

Verdict: Another area where Lancaster is blessed with plenty of options but Farrell is nailed on for the number 10 jersey. Flood and Burns are at the centre of a transfer merry-go-round. The Leicester man could pay the price for his impending move to France with Lancaster casting an eye to the future, while Burns is desperately out of form but should cling on. Ford to be called up and deputise for Farrell.

Scrum-halves: Danny Care (Harlequins), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Verdict: No change

Props: Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), David Wilson (Bath Rugby)

Injured: Alex Corbisiero (Northampton Saints): Lancaster is desperately short of front-row options and Lions power-house Corbisiero will be retained.

Hookers: Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints) Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Second-rows: David Attwood (Bath Rugby) Joe Launchbury (London Wasps) Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)

Injured: Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)

Six Nations call-up candidates: George Slater, Graham Kitchener.: Parling is likely to be retained with former Gloucester man Attwood moving into the starting XV. Lancaster could look to Kitchener.

Back row: Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby) Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby),

Injured: Tom Croft

Verdict: Both Morgan and Kvesic can expect the call from Lancaster but both have fallen down the pecking order. Vunipola is the outright favourite to pull on the number eight jersey and while his back chat at Kingsholm was unnecessary he brings all the dynamism to put the Red Rose on the front foot. England are still crying out for a genuine openside and Kvesic could be the answer but currently short of form.

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  • waIker1106  |  January 09 2014, 7:36PM

    All Gloucester Rugby supporters will know what a fine player Jonny is, but all Gloucester Rugby supporters also know that what the club must consistently do is to ensure that Rupҽrt Hardҽn, our first choice and best tight head prop, starts as many games as possible, otherwise the scrum will end up getting mullered as it did last season every time Rupҽrt was unavailable.

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  • fuddIebagIey  |  January 09 2014, 7:32PM

    Harden is a superb player and rightly Gloucester Rugby's first choice in the No. 3 shirt.

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  • jasonbennett3  |  January 09 2014, 7:30PM

    Harden is the best tight head at Gloucester by a mile.

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  • crazylegs37  |  January 09 2014, 7:27PM

    Harden is the first choice tight head

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  • sean_bulling  |  January 09 2014, 7:20PM

    Harden is the No.1 tight head at Gloucester!

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  • aIex-bound  |  January 09 2014, 7:17PM

    Harden is the number 1 tight head at Gloucester Rugby by a country mile.

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  • waIker1106  |  January 09 2014, 7:13PM

    Harden is TOP RATED! And that is by the man who knows best, the DoR.

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  • fuddIebagIey  |  January 09 2014, 7:11PM

    Harden owns the number 3 shirt. He has no real competition for it.

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  • jasonbennett3  |  January 09 2014, 7:03PM

    Let's face it, the so-called "Rob_quedgeley" is just the same clueless and gullible old Gloucester hating multi-identity troll who has never been to any Gloucester game at Kingsholm, let alone any away and has no idea about front row play. He doesn't even know what the Shed is. And that is all because he is most definitely NOT a Gloucester Rugby supporter. # Rupҽrt Hardҽn is Gloucester Rugby's stand-out tight head. ND knows it which is why he selects him to start all the critical games.

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  • sean_bulling  |  January 09 2014, 6:52PM

    Laughing at the brain-dead multi-ID troll Rob_quedgeley (he has to remind himself where he is) aka bikeshed aka shedheadNOT aka gloslover-NOT pretending to be a Gloucester Rugby supporter. The fact is, he is a clueless idiot who knows absolutely nothing about rugby union and he obviously has no idea whatsoever about what is going on at Gloucester Rugby.

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