LONDON – England centre Jonathan Joseph is among four British and Irish Lions players left out of Eddie Jones’ squad for a training camp before the autumn Tests against Argentina, Australia and Samoa.
George Kruis, Kyle Sinckler and James Haskell have also been omitted from the 33-man group that will gather in Oxford on Sunday despite touring New Zealand with Warren Gatland during the summer.
Denny Solomona is absent after being reprimanded for a late-night drinking session during the last England camp, and there is still no place for in-form Bath wing Semesa Rokoduguni.
Harlequins’ rising star Marcus Smith, 18, is the headline inclusion in the squad for the final get-together before November’s matches.
“This camp in Oxford is a really positive opportunity for the group to come back together and sharpen our focus and preparation ahead of our first match against Argentina,” said head coach Eddie Jones said.
Joseph, who plays for Premiership side Bath, has been a mainstay in England’s midfield since establishing himself in the team in 2015, and has only missed one of Jones’ 20 matches in charge.
He scored a hat-trick against Scotland in March, but having been unable to force his way into the Lions’ Test team, he has now been overlooked by England.
The squad includes 18 players who toured Argentina in June and 11 who travelled to New Zealand with the Lions.
Jones opened the door for the omitted Lions to force their way back into contention for the autumn series, which starts against Argentina on November 11.
“We’ll make selection calls for the autumn further down the line,” Jones said.
“They’re not in the squad for this camp. If things change, there’s a possibility they could be in the squad for the Argentina game.
“This is the training squad and these are the players I want to look at. I wouldn’t jump at shadows just yet.”
England take on Argentina on November 11, followed by matches against Australia (November 18) and Samoa (November 25).