Rugby - Cipriani handed England recall for NZ tour

Fly-half Danny Cipriani is in line for a first England appearance in six years after being named in Stuart Lancaster's provisional 30-man squad for next month's three-Test tour of New Zealand.

Reuters
Rugby - Cipriani handed England recall for NZ tour
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Danny Cipriani is expected to be recalled by England for the tour to New Zealand

Cipriani, who played the last of his seven caps under Brian Ashton in 2008, enjoyed a solid season with Sale Sharks, helping the Premiership side to a sixth-placed finish after they were in danger of being relegated last year.

With Bath fly-half George Ford ruled out by a shoulder injury, the 26-year-old Cipriani and Gloucester number 10 Freddie Burns have been named in a squad featuring seven uncapped players and a trio of new hookers.

Harlequins duo Dave Ward and Joe Gray, and Exeter Chiefs' Luke Cowan-Dickie will bid for a Test debut, with five-Test Bath forward Rob Webber the fourth hooker in the squad.

Worcester full-back Chris Pennell, Newcastle tighthead prop Kieran Brookes, Leicester lock Ed Slater and Gloucester centre Henry Trinder complete the new faces.

Centre Billy Twelvetrees had made "sufficient progress" with an ankle injury to join the first flight to New Zealand on Tuesday but Anthony Allen would not tour due to a knee injury, the Rugby Football Union said.

Further players are to be added to the squad after Saturday's Premiership final between Saracens and Northampton, and the match between an England XV and the invitational Barbarians side the following day.

Bath utility back Anthony Watson, who has a hamstring strain, remained in contention for the tour and a decision would be made on his fitness on Monday.

"We are excited about the squad we are taking to New Zealand and, while there continues to be challenges in selection, we will be well and truly ready for the first Test," said Lancaster.

"It has a been good few days training and great to be able to work with a larger group of players in the lead up to the Barbarians game and the tour."

The first Test kicks off at Eden Park on June 7, with matches in Dunedin and Hamilton to follow.

England squad:

Forwards: Joe Marler, Matt Mullan, Kieran Brookes, Henry Thomas, David Wilson, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Joe Gray, Dave Ward, Rob Webber, Dave Attwood, Joe Launchbury, Geoff Parling, Ed Slater, James Haskell, Tom Johnson, Matt Kvesic, Ben Morgan, Chris Robshaw

Backs: Danny Care, Ben Youngs, Freddie Burns, Danny Cipriani, Kyle Eastmond, Manusamoa Tuilagi, Henry Trinder, Billy Twelvetrees, Jonny May, Marland Yarde, Mike Brown, Chris Pennell

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