Elliot Daly among England squad winners as Billy Vunipola and Jonny May lose out

New England head coach Steve Borthwick has named his first squad since replacing Eddie Jones last month.

Here the PA news agency looks at the winners and losers in the 36-man group chosen for the upcoming Six Nations.


Elliot Daly, back, Saracens

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Frozen out since the 2022 Six Nations, Daly has made a lightning start to the current club season and is rewarded with a recall by Borthwick. His ability to cover centre, wing and full-back increases his value to any squad.

Dan Cole, prop, Leicester

Dan Cole, centre left, is lifted off the ground by the South Africa pack in the 2019 World Cup final
Dan Cole’s last England appearance came in the 2019 World Cup final (Ashley Western/PA)

Cole won the last of his 95 caps in the 2019 World Cup final, paying the price for England’s scrum being taken apart by South Africa. Now 35, the Lions tighthead’s set-piece expertise is seen as an asset to be used.

Ben Earl, flanker, Saracens

Ben Earl
Ben Earl has starred for Saracens (Yui Mok/PA)

To widespread bafflement, the reigning Premiership player of the year was dropped by Jones in 2021 and has not had a look in since. Strong over the ball, hard-working and influential in attack and defence, he is sure to be involved.


Billy Vunipola, number eight, Saracens

Billy Vunipola, right, is tackled by New Zealand’s Richie Mo’unga
Billy Vunipola, right, will not be involved (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Reinstated for the July tour to Australia and performed well, especially in the second Test, but was ineffectual during the autumn. Offers something unique to English rugby in his position, but Borthwick is looking elsewhere.

Jack Nowell, wing, Exeter

Jack Nowell
Jack Nowell misses out (Andrew Matthews/PA)

At his best Nowell is a tackle-busting force for club and country, but he has lost long spells of his career to injury. Despite regaining fitness, his form has been unspectacular and one of Jones’ vice-captains has now been frozen out.

Jonny May, wing, Gloucester

Jonny May
Jonny May battled injury and illness in 2022 (Andrew Matthews/PA)

England’s second-highest tryscorer has suffered a blow in his race to eclipse Rory Underwood’s record. Devastating when on song but has faced a year of injury problems and suffered a serious dose of Covid in 2022.