London Wasps wing Christian Wade is among six new additions to England’s senior elite player squad.

Wade made his international debut in the victory over Argentina in June and was also called up to the Lions squad as cover.

He is joined in the party of 33 - announced by head coach Stuart Lancaster this morning - by club teammate Billy Vunipola, Bath duo Dave Attwood and Kyle Eastmond, London Irish wing Marland Yarde and Gloucester flanker Matt Kvesic.

“Thank you for all the support and messages,” Wade tweeted after hearing of his selection. 

“Last year was a great season for me and I’m really looking forward to the upcoming season.”

Alongside the batch of new faces, Saracens wing Chris Ashton and Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley have retained their places in the squad.

New Zealand-born Hartley’s inclusion is a particularly controversial one, given his 11-week domestic suspension for verbally abusing a referee during the Saints’ 2013 Aviva Premiership final defeat against Leicester. 

On his selection, Lancaster said: “This was the toughest EPS selection we’ve had to make with fierce competition for places in every area of the squad after an excellent summer for England players at all levels.

“Christian Wade and Marland Yarde brought their outstanding Aviva Premiership form to the tour. 

"Kyle Eastmond showed his potential and by including him in the squad we get a chance to work with him some more as we build towards the autumn.

“Up front, David Attwood adds a physical presence to the second row and in Matt Kvesic and Billy Vunipola we have young back row players who will challenge our more established back row players hard.”

While there was elation for Wade and his fellow newcomers there was also plenty of disappointment as Jonathan Joseph, James Haskell, David Strettle, Thomas Waldrom, Calum Clarke and Tom Johnson were all demoted to the Saxons squad.


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