Poms call on Barritt

Former Sharks centre Brad Barritt has been named in the England Saxons squad that includes Danny Cipriani.

Barritt moved to Saracens after the Currie Cup and as he holds a British passport he is eligible for English selection. He has been called up to the England second-string side to take part in the Churchill Cup in Denver.

Barritt follows in the footsteps of ex-Kearsney schoolmate Matt Stevens in playing for England. The centre suffered concussion in his sole outing for the Sharks this season, but should recover in time for the tournament.

Cipriani’s nightmare season continues as he started the November internationals as first-choice pivot, but now Leicester flyhalf Sam Vesty is another to have ousted him.

‘We think Sam Vesty has been playing very well and deserves his place in the senior team,’ coach Martin Johnson told the BBC.

‘It is not that Danny doesn’t, but someone has beaten him to the spot. It is a very competitive area and we made the call after thinking about who was right for this trip.’

World Cup-winning hooker in 2003 Steve Thompson has meanwhile been recalled to the first-choice side to play the Barbarians and Argentina.

England:

Forwards: S Armitage (London Irish), S Borthwick (Saracens, capt), G Chuter (Leicester), J Crane (Leicester), T Croft (Leicester), L Deacon (Leicester), N Easter (Harlequins), D Hartley (Northampton), J Haskell (Wasps), B Kay (Leicester), N Kennedy (London Irish), L Moody (Leicester), T Payne (Wasps), T Rees (Wasps), C Robshaw (Harlequins), S Thompson (CA Brive), J White (Leicester), D Wilson (Newcastle), N Wood (Gloucester)

Backs: D Armitage (London Irish), D Care (Harlequins), M Cueto (Sale Sharks), B Foden (Northampton), A Goode (CA Brive), J Turner-Hall (Harlequins), D Hipkiss (Leicester), P Hodgson (London Irish), T May (Newcastle), O Morgan (Gloucester), J Noon (Newcastle), D Strettle(Harlequins), M Tait (Sale Sharks), S Vesty (Leicester), R Wigglesworth (Sale Sharks)

England Saxons Churchill Cup squad:

Forwards: D Cole (Leicester), A Corbiserio (London Irish), P Dowson (Newcastle), D Flatman (Bath), T Guest (Harlequins), S Hooper (Bath), C Jones (Sale), T Mercey (Saracens), L Narraway (Gloucester), D Schofield (Sale), P Short (Bath), J Ward (Wasps), R Webber (Wasps), B Woods (Leicester)

Backs: N Abendanon (Bath), M Banahan (Bath), B Barritt (Saracens), N Cato (Saracens), D Cipriani (Wasps), S Geraghty (London Irish), A Goode (Saracens), S Myler (Northampton), J Simpson (Wasps), T Varndell (Leicester), D Waldouck (Wasps), M Young (Newcastle)