FOUR Wasps players have been selected for England’s eagerly anticipated tour of Australia next month.
Co-captains James Haskell and Matt Mullan have been named in Eddie Jones’ squad for the tour which begins on June 11 at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, while Joe Launchbury and Elliot Daly after also been included.
The 32-man squad also includes four uncapped players with Ben Te’o (Worcester Warrior) Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers) and Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins) all hoping to make their senior debuts.
All four Wasps players have also been selected by Jones for England’s Old Mutal Wealth Cup match against old rivals Wales this Sunday at Twickenham.
“We have selected two squads of players who can win all four games,” said Jones. “It’s important we get off to a good start against Wales and play positive rugby and win.
“We are excited to being touring Australia in June. To beat the Wallabies in Australia you have to play a physical, aggressive brand of rugby and that’s what we intend to do.
“We will need to be a fit, cohesive, tactically flexible team and play with a high intensity. We have to be in their faces from the first minute of the first Test.
“But we are in no doubt of the challenge we face. England have only ever won three Tests in Australia and never won in Brisbane, so it is a great opportunity for us to create new history.
“We are still a young squad with an average age of 24 so this will be a big learning experience. This will be the first time many of the players will have toured
Australia so there’s no historical baggage there and mentally we’ll be in a good place off the back of the RBS 6 Nations.
“The Grand Slam was just the start of our journey. We’re ranked fourth in the world and are still developing our identity and we have a long way to go to get to where we ultimately want to be. This tour will provide a good chance for us to measure up to the southern hemisphere and try to close that gap.
“Australia are the second-ranked team in the world and their coach is the World Rugby coach of the year, so their supporters will expect a positive result from them. We will upset the apple cart.”