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Exeter Chiefs' Tom Johnson in England squad

By echo_nick  |  Posted: January 09, 2013

Exeter Chiefs flanker Tom Johnson Picture: Phil Mingo/Pinnacle

Exeter Chiefs flanker Tom Johnson Picture: Phil Mingo/Pinnacle

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Exeter Chiefs flanker Tom Johnson has retained his place in the England senior squad ahead of the Six Nations.

The 30-year-old, who has won five caps, is one of 33 players named in Stuart Lancaster's Elite Player Squad.

However, Johnson is the only Exeter player to feature in either the senior or Saxons squads.

Lancaster has made seven changes to the senior squad announced last July. In come Freddie Burns (Gloucester), Calum Clark (Northampton), James Haskell (Wasps), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), David Strettle (Saracens), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester) and Tom Youngs (Leicester).

With eight players on the bench for the Six Nations, Lancaster has added Mako Vunipola (Saracens) as an extra player.

There are also seven changes to the Saxons squad, with Elliott Daly (Wasps), Kyle Eastmond (Bath), Will Fraser (Saracens), Shaun Knight (Gloucester), Ed Slater (Leicester), Joel Tomkins (Saracens) and Billy Vunipola (Wasps) all making their first appearances this season. Billy Vunipola will train with the senior squad in Leeds (January 20-25) while Tom Croft (Leicester) continues his return-to-play programme.  

England head coach Lancaster said: "The fact that we have spent significant time deliberating over quite a few players shows how tough the competition is to get into this 65 and the strength in depth that is emerging.

"This is a very important year for England, with the Six Nations and the Saxons games to look forward to so there are some great opportunities for the players to demonstrate their club form at international level. The summer tour to Argentina will also be a great chance for those players pushing for a place, especially with some of our senior squad hopefully going with the Lions, and chances will undoubtedly arise as we hope to play two midweek games as well as the two Tests."

England senior squad, forwards: Calum Clark (Northampton), Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Dan Cole, Tom Croft (both Leicester), Dylan Hartley (Northampton), James Haskell (Wasps), Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Ben Morgan (Gloucester), Geoff Parling (Leicester), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester), David Wilson (Bath), Tom Wood (Northampton), Tom Youngs (Leicester). Backs: Chris Ashton, Brad Barritt (both Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Freddie Burns (Gloucester), Danny Care (Harlequins), Lee Dickson (Northampton), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Toby Flood (Leicester), Ben Foden (Northampton), Alex Goode (Saracens), Jonathan Joseph (London Irish), David Strettle (Saracens), Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester), Ben Youngs (Leicester)

England Saxons squad, forwards: Mouritz Botha (Saracens), Nathan Catt (Bath), Louis Deacon (Leicester), Paul Doran Jones, Phil Dowson (both Northampton), Will Fraser (Saracens), Joe Gray (Harlequins), Graham Kitchener (Leicester), Shaun Knight (Gloucester), Matt Kvesic, Matt Mullan (Worcester), David Paice (London Irish), Tom Palmer (Wasps), George Robson (Harlequins), Ed Slater (Leicester), Henry Thomas (Sale), Billy Vunipola (Wasps). Backs: Nick Abendanon (Bath), Anthony Allen (Leicester), Tom Biggs (Bath), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Kyle Eastmond (Bath), George Ford (Leicester), George Lowe (Harlequins), Jonny May (Gloucester), Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Joe Simpson (Wasps), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester), Joel Tomkins (Saracens), Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins), Christian Wade (Wasps), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)

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