Sleightholme one of seven Saints stars selected by England for Summer Series

Ollie Sleightholme is in the England squad (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)Ollie Sleightholme is in the England squad (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Ollie Sleightholme is in the England squad (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Uncapped Ollie Sleightholme is one of seven Saints stars included in the England squad for the Summer Series in Japan and New Zealand.

Alex Coles, Fraser Dingwall, Tommy Freeman, George Furbank, Alex Mitchell and Fin Smith have also been called up by boss Steve Borthwick.

Borthwick has named a 36-player squad with England set to play a Test match against Japan in Tokyo on Saturday, June 22 before embarking on a two-Test tour of New Zealand.

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The Red Rose will take on the All Blacks in Dunedin on Saturday, July 6 and in Auckland on Saturday, July 13.

Six uncapped players are included in the touring party with Sleightholme, Fin Baxter, Gabriel Oghre, Joe Carpenter, Tom Roebuck and Luke Northmore all selected.

The squad, which will be captained by Jamie George and is made up of 20 forwards and 16 backs, will train at Twickenham on Tuesday (June 11) before flying to Tokyo the following day to continue preparation.

“The Summer Series presents a valuable opportunity for the continued development of this squad and is a demanding challenge to conclude the season,” Borthwick said.

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“For some of the younger players, it will be their first time touring abroad with England. Travelling together is a great way to build closer bonds and provides an important opportunity for new players to settle into our environment.

“With the changes in climate, playing conditions, and contrasting styles of rugby from the two opponents we face, we will be challenged on and off the field.

“The National Stadium in Tokyo is an incredible venue for Test match rugby, and we will need to be at our very best against a Japanese team who will want to play fast.

“New Zealand’s home record is well documented, and we face a team who came within one point of winning a World Cup.

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“Historically it is not a place England have had much success, but we are determined to change that. The players know that they will need to be mentally strong and tactically smart if we are to get the result we want.”

England’s 36-player Summer Series squad

Forwards: Fin Baxter (Harlequins, uncapped), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 112 caps), Alex Coles (Saints, 5 caps), Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins, 4 caps), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, 5 caps), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 50 caps), Theo Dan (Saracens, 12 caps), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 17 caps), Ben Earl (Saracens, 30 caps), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 30 caps), Jamie George (Saracens, 90 caps) – captain, Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 7 caps), Maro Itoje (Saracens, 81 caps), Joe Marler (Harlequins, 93 caps), George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 12 caps), Gabriel Oghre (Bristol Bears, uncapped), Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 5 caps), Ethan Roots (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps), Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 38 caps), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 35 caps).

Backs: Joe Carpenter (Sale Sharks, uncapped), Fraser Dingwall (Saints, 2 caps), Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter Chiefs, 3 caps), Tommy Freeman (Saints, 8 caps), George Furbank (Saints, 9 caps), Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 24 caps), Alex Mitchell (Saints, 15 caps), Luke Northmore (Harlequins, uncapped), Harry Randall (Bristol Bears, 6 caps), Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks, uncapped), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 62 caps), Ollie Sleightholme (Saints, uncapped), Fin Smith (Saints, 2 caps), Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 32 caps), Ben Spencer (Bath Rugby, 5 caps), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 33 caps).

England’s Summer Series: Japan v England, Saturday 22 June, National Stadium, kick-off 6.50am BST (RugbyPass TV); New Zealand v England, Saturday 6 July, Forsyth Barr Stadium, kick-off 8.05am BST (Sky Sports); New Zealand v England, Saturday 13 July, Eden Park, kick-off 8.05am BST (Sky Sports).

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