Danny Cipriani. Picture: ACTION IMAGES/MATTHEW CHILDS
Danny Cipriani. Picture: ACTION IMAGES/MATTHEW CHILDS

England coach Eddie Jones included eight new caps on Thursday in his 31-man squad to tour SA in June‚ including Hurricanes flank Brad Shields and flyhalf Danny Cipriani.

Saracens flyhalf and centre Owen Farrell will captain England in SA where they have not won a Test since 2000.

Injuries and fatigue after a long season in which 15 England players represented the British & Irish Lions in New Zealand in June 2017‚ forced Jones to leave some key players behind.

A list of some of the players not touring is an impressive one and includes scrumhalf Danny Care‚ wing Jonathan Joseph‚ centre Harry Mallinder‚ wing Jack Nowell‚ wing Semesa Rokoduguni‚ centre Manu Tuilagi‚ wing Anthony Watson‚ scrumhalf Richard Wigglesworth‚ prop Dan Cole‚ hooker Dylan Hartley‚ flanks James Haskell and Sam Underhill‚ No8 Nathan Hughes and locks George Kruis and Courtney Lawes.

Shields was given an early release by New Zealand Rugby (NZR) to play for England.

Shields‚ who has English parents but was born and raised in New Zealand‚ will join Wasps at the end of the current Super Rugby season.

By having his NZR contract nullified‚ he is free to play for England‚ despite not having played any club rugby in that country.

"We have taken some time to carefully work through the complexities of this request‚ to ensure that we gave appropriate consideration to his specific circumstances‚" NZR head of professional rugby Chris Lendrum said.

The other seven new caps are looseforward Ben Earl (Saracens)‚ 2.01m lock Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs)‚ scrumhalf Dan Robson (Wasps)‚ wing/fullback Nathan Earl (Saracens)‚ scrumhalf Ben Spencer (Saracens)‚ utility back Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks) and No8 Jack Willis (Wasps).

Redpath is the son of former Scotland scrumhalf Bryan Redpath‚ who played 60 times for England’s bitter rivals.

Cipriani (Wasps) makes a return to the England set-up having last played for his country in 2015.

Billy Vunipola (Saracens) is recalled after recovering from injury having last played for England in the 2017 Six Nations.

Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)‚ a year after last featuring for England in the two Test series in Argentina‚ has also been included.

"Our tour to SA will be the most exciting challenge for us as a group since 2016‚" said Jones.

"We have an opportunity to create some history next month and win the Test series‚ something no England side has done before," he said.

"There are a number of players out injured or not selected so it provides a big opportunity for others. With three weeks to prepare for the first Test in Johannesburg I am expecting players to come into camp with the right mind-set and we will be looking for them to break the mould in terms of being more assertive and on the front foot in everything we do.

"We will need to be physically aggressive and tactically smart against the Springboks who we know will be combative and reinvigorated by their new coaching setup."

England will play SA in three Tests in Johannesburg (June 9)‚ Bloemfontein (June 16) and Cape Town (June 23).

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