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Cape Town – England head coach Eddie Jones has named a 44-man pre-season training squad that includes former Lions and Stormers loose forward Michael Rhodes

The 30-year-old, who was born in Durban, joined Saracens in 2015 and is now in the running to earn an England cap. 

The camp will convene at the Lensbury Hotel from Saturday, August 4 until Monday, August 6.

Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks) is called into the squad having returned to England this summer from playing in France with Toulon. The 31-year-old wing, who scored 19 tries in 39 Tests for England, last played international rugby in 2014.

England coaches will have a chance to look at a number of new or young players including Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins), Joel Kpoku (Saracens), Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers) and Rhodes.

A number of players rested for the tour to South Africa were not considered for this camp, but will be watched closely in the club season.

“This is a pre-season camp so a lot of our players, particularly the ones who went on the South African tour, have just started training with their clubs so it’s just a chance to get a group of players together to have a chat about the season ahead and look at the important areas in developing the team,” said Jones.

“With just over 12 months until the Rugby World Cup, it is an important time.

“We haven’t selected everyone. There are a number of players we rested from the tour that we have allowed to continue their pre-season with their clubs. 

“This camp is all about individual preparation, it’s about looking to see how we can help each of the players improve, how we can help with their selection for the national team, because we have 44 players coming in plus another 15 who are strongly in contention for the Quilter Internationals in November.”

England will play four matches in the upcoming end-of-year Internationals against South Africa (November 3), New Zealand (November 10), Japan (November 17) and Australia (November 24). 

England squad:

Backs

Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Cipriani (Gloucester Rugby), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Nathan Earle (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Piers Francis (Northampton Saints), Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Joe Marchant (Harlequins), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers), Dan Robson (Wasps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Spencer (Saracens), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Forwards

Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Northampton Saints), Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joel Kpoku (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Michael Rhodes (Saracens), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors), Will Spencer (Leicester Tigers), Elliott Stooke (Bath Rugby), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons) 

Not considered for selection due to injury/fitness/other:

Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), George Kruis (Saracens), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Brad Shields (Wasps), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)