Jamie George named as England captain for Six Nations

Jamie George at 2023 Rugby World Cup Jamie George has been announced as England captain for the upcoming Six Nations (Mike Egerton/PA)

Jamie George has been named England captain for the Six Nations but there is no place in Steve Borthwick’s squad for Kyle Sinckler or Billy Vunipola.

George, who has previously led the Lions and Saracens, takes the role for the first time following Owen Farrell’s decision to sit out the championship in order to prioritise his and his family’s mental wellbeing.

There are seven uncapped players in the 36-man squad, but their presence is overshadowed by the omission of Sinckler and Vunipola – two stalwarts of the team for the previous two World Cup cycles.

George has won 85 England caps, plus three for the Lions, and is Borthwick’s first choice hooker.

“Last week Steve asked me to be captain for the upcoming Six Nations and I accepted with huge gratitude and enthusiasm,” George said.

“I love playing rugby for England. I hope that everyone has seen how much it means to me, I have never shied away from that.

“I am so excited about where this team can go and bringing the fans on that journey with us is something that I care about deeply.

“I believe I’m at the stage of my career where I can give my all to the captaincy and give my best on the pitch.

“I don’t underestimate the challenge ahead. Owen is a fantastic motivator and tactician, and we will undoubtedly miss his leadership.

“But I have got brilliant people around me, many of whom have won major tournaments, and utilising the great experience we have within the group is going to be crucial.”

Borthwick has undertaken a significant revamp of his squad with only 17 survivors present from the 34 players used at last autumn’s World Cup, which England finished in third place.

Wings Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, Oscar Beard and Tom Roebuck, back rows Chandler Cunningham-South and Ethan Roots, centre Fraser Dingwall and fly-half Fin Smith are the uncapped players

“Building on the foundations of what we achieved at the Rugby World Cup, I have selected a squad that provides strong continuity and experience, whilst at the same time providing an opportunity to develop the talent of a number of new and less-experienced players,” Borthwick said.

“I would particularly like to congratulate the new faces who have their first chance and very much look forward to seeing how that young talent can play an important part in ensuring that England continue to develop our game and move forward.”

England open their Six Nations against Italy in Rome on February 3.

England Six Nations squad

Forwards: Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Alex Coles (Northampton Saints), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Sale Sharks), Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks), Theo Dan (Saracens), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Ben Earl (Saracens), Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears), Jamie George (Captain, Saracens), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Beno Obano (Bath Rugby), Tom Pearson (Northampton Saints), Ethan Roots (Exeter Chiefs), Will Stuart (Bath Rugby), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)

Backs: Oscar Beard (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Saracens), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter Chiefs), George Ford (Sale Sharks), Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints), George Furbank (Northampton Saints), Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby), Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints), Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Fin Smith (Northampton Saints), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Ben Spencer (Bath Rugby), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers)

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