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Wasps No.8 Hughes named in England squad

Nathan Hughes has made the list. Credit: PA

England have selected Nathan Hughes for the first time after including the Wasps back row in a provisional Elite Player Squad for this month's pre-season training camp.

Leicester hooker and club captain Tom Youngs, who won 31 caps under the previous regime, returns after being previously overlooked by head coach Eddie Jones, while Gloucester wing Johnny May is back from knee surgery.

High-profile omissions from the 45 are centre Luther Burrell, fly-half Danny Cipriani and wing Chris Ashton.

Easter retires to take coaching position at Harlequins

Easter won 54 caps for England. Credit: PA

England and Harlequins forward Nick Easter has announced his retirement from rugby.

The 37-year-old will now take on a full-time coaching position with Harlequins, the Aviva Premiership club have announced.

Easter accepted a role as coach-player of Quins in April, taking charge of defence.

Easter said: "After accepting the opportunity of being a coach-player by (Quins director of rugby) John Kingston, I took some time to think about my career. I realised that whether I'm playing or coaching, there was no possible way that I would be able to give 100 per cent to both of my roles at the same time."

Easter won 54 caps for England, making his debut against Italy in the 2007 RBS 6 Nations. In the same year he played in the World Cup final defeat to South Africa and became the first Red Rose number eight to score four tries in one match, a feat he achieved in the 62-5 win over Wales.

After a lengthy international absence, Easter was recalled by England for last year's Six Nations and was then summoned into Stuart Lancaster's World Cup squad as an injury replacement for Billy Vunipola.

In England's final pool game at the World Cup, Easter became the oldest hat-trick scorer in Test history after crossing three times in victory over Uruguay, earning him the man of the match in his final appearance for country.


England complete series win in Australia

England's heroic defence propelled them to a maiden series success Down Under as Australia were crushed 23-7 at AAMI Stadium.

The rivals fought each other to a standstill in an ugly but captivating second Test from which the Grand Slam champions emerged emphatic winners despite spending most of the second half halting waves of attacks from the Wallabies.

England were too good for Australia. Credit: Reuters

Captain Dylan Hartley, who became England's most capped hooker, crossed in the first half before Owen Farrell added the decisive try with six minutes remaining.

The outstanding Farrell also kicked three penalties and two conversions, but this was a victory founded on the spirit that was evident during stirring rearguard action as Australia probed the whitewash.

The commitment was epitomised by former captain Chris Robshaw, who celebrated his 50th cap with a man of the match performance.

George Ford back at fly-half for second Test in Australia

George Ford. Credit: PA

England will restore George Ford at fly-half for Saturday's second Test against Australia at AAMI Park.

Eddie Jones will reunite the Grand Slam-winning 10-12 axis of Ford and Owen Farrell as the tourists target the victory that will complete an historic series in the southern hemisphere.

Ford was brought on in the 29th minute of the 39-28 victory in Brisbane with Luther Burrell, who had been exposed in defence on several occasions, making way.

The reshuffle saw Farrell, the starting fly-half, replace Burrell at inside centre and the change in personnel provided the catalyst for England's fightback.

A bold early substitution by Jones was rewarded with arguably Ford's best performance in 24 caps after the 23-year-old's vision set-up tries for wings Marland Yarde and Jack Nowell.

It is hoped the twin playmakers will offer England the direction they need if they are to seize an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

"Australia will be desperate because they will be disappointed with the first result," Ford said.

Farrell replaces Ford in England line-up

Owen Farrell steps in for Ford. Credit: PA

Owen Farrell will make his first start at fly-half under head coach Eddie Jones after George Ford was dropped for England's opening Test against Australia on Saturday.

Farrell, who has been in outstanding form for double winners Saracens, will act as playmaker-in-chief at Suncorp Stadium after playing every match of the recent Grand Slam triumph at inside centre.

Luther Burrell fills the number 12 shirt vacated by Farrell despite only having been called into the touring party once Manu Tuilagi was ruled out by a hamstring injury.

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