Jack Nowell has not been included in the England Six Nations squad, with Eddie Jones calling up eight uncapped players.

Dan Cole and Ben Spencer also missed out on Jones' 34-man squad for the tournament, which England begin with an away clash against France on February 2.

The omission of versatile back Nowell was the biggest surprise of the 10 players from England's Rugby World Cup squad who are not selected, many of whom are injured - including Billy Vunipola (broken arm).

Capped 34 times by his country, the 26-year-old has played regularly for Exeter Chiefs despite struggling with his recovery from an ankle injury suffered prior to the World Cup and reports suggest he will now undergo a second operation.

Alex Moon, Fraser Dingwall and Jacob Umaga earn call-ups for the first time, along with George Furbank and Will Stuart.

Tom Dunn, Ben Earl and Ollie Thorley have been in previous squads and have another chance to make their England debuts.

Alex Mitchell and Josh Hodge are called up as apprentice players.

Seven Saracens players earned a selection after the news the European champions will be relegated from the Premiership at the end of the season.

The squad will meet at Pennyhill Park on Wednesday to begin their Six Nations preparation, before flying to Portugal a day later.

Jones said: "It is always about winning the next game so we have picked the best squad available. 

"At the same time we wanted to bring some young players in because we need to keep building our depth so for those new players it is an exciting opportunity for them.

"The first three days will be about getting organised. We have got players from 11 clubs so we need to get everyone on the same page quickly and spend a lot of time working on our togetherness.

"Then by Tuesday next week we are in Test preparation for France."
 

England squad: 

Forwards: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Tom Dunn, Ben Earl, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Ted Hill, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Joe Marler, Alex Moon, Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Mako Vunipola, Harry Williams.

Backs: Elliot Daly, Ollie Devoto, Fraser Dingwall, Owen Farrell (captain), George Ford, George Furbank, Willi Heinz, Jonathan Joseph, Jonny May, Ollie Thorley, Manu Tuilagi, Jacob Umaga, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs.

Faf du Plessis insists he still plans to continue as South Africa captain until at least the T20 World Cup but admits the fourth Test against England could be his last on home soil.

The Proteas trail England 2-1 with one match remaining in Johannesburg, having been thrashed by an innings and 53 runs at St George's Park on Monday.

It has been rumoured skipper Du Plessis could end his Test career after the four-match series, despite previously describing the limited-overs tournament in Australia later this year as "a crossroad in my career".

The 35-year-old said in his post-match presentation he had "heard the rumours of a possible retirement" but "nothing has changed".

However, speaking at a news conference, he recognised the Wanderers could see his final home appearance in the longest format, as he will not consider quitting mid-series.

"I have committed until the T20 World Cup," Du Plessis said. "There isn't a lot of Test cricket left this year.

"One massive Test where we need everyone to be as strong as possible. Afterwards, there is quite a big gap.

"I have said before, there is an opportunity to release some of the captaincy. Two Test matches in the West Indies [in July], and the rest of the year is white-ball stuff.

"Most probably, after that, Test cricket will be something that won't see me. That's a decision I will make then. For me now, it's to be as strong as possible."

Dismissing the idea of quitting before the fourth Test, he said: "I don't think that's what's leadership is about.

"I felt that the team has needed a leader to stand up and guide the ship through a difficult time. If you leave the team when they need you most, that's not my style.

"I have been under pressure a few times and I've played my best innings under pressure. I can't leave the team when they need me most.

"We are in a transition but I can't do it forever. It has been chipping away at your character. For now, that's what we need. I think it will make it worse if I say I'm out."

South Africa will be without suspended strike bowler Kagiso Rabada when they attempt to draw the series, but Du Plessis is also concerned by his batting unit.

The Proteas never threatened to push England in the third Test, their biggest partnership of the second innings by far a 10th-wicket stand of 99 between Keshav Maharaj (71) and Dane Paterson (39 not out).

"[Missing Rabada] is a big frustration, disappointment," Du Plessis said. "He's our best bowler, and it's not the first time that we've lost him in what will be a crucial game for us.

"We're already a little bit light on experience in our Test unit. He will be a huge loss - that's just the cards that we've been dealt. We've got to make the best of it. There's no using excuses for that.

"We have to regroup, have some firm chats over the next few days about where we need to get better, and make sure we move forward. We've shown signs of that.

"With the bowling, our controlling of the rate has been something we've been good at. Kesh [Maharaj] had a five-for, which showed this wicket was made for the spinners. There were a lot of wickets taken by the spinners.

"The same thing is happening with the batting unit - we're not putting on big totals. If you look at England, it's just one or two guys that put their hands up and score big hundreds.

"One big partnership gives you that momentum that you need, so we need to be better."

Joe Root believes England are in a great place after their youngsters continued to shine in a crushing third-Test victory over South Africa at St George’s Park.

After being delayed by a last-wicket partnership of 99 from Keshav Maharaj and Dane Paterson, England got over the line to comprehensively win by an innings and 53 runs in Port Elizabeth on Monday.

That put the tourists 2-1 up in the four-match series, having successfully followed up their dramatic victory at Newlands.

Ollie Pope made his first Test century, top scoring with 135 not out in England's 499-9 declared, before Dom Bess (5-51) claimed a maiden five-wicket Test haul as the Proteas were dismissed for 209 in their first innings.

Dom Sibley had starred with a century in Cape Town and Root is thrilled to see his young players thrive.

"We've had four guys under 25 making hundreds or taking five-fors and that's a great place to be," England captain Root said after taking 4-87 in South Africa's second innings.

"We want to keep continuing to provide an environment where that becomes possible and keep giving those guys that confidence to make sure when they get that opportunity they can fulfil it as they have done here.

"That's what it's about, it's not going to be the same guys every week. It's about collectively doing your role within the team. We've got a very good squad of players, there's a couple of very good players who aren't in this XI, and that's a really exciting place to be as well.

"When guys are really stepping up to the plate, especially at a young age, and showing they can perform at this level, that’s going to fill everyone with a huge amount of confidence. 

"Ollie batted beautifully with Stokesy [Ben Stokes], a brilliant partnership which really put us in a commanding position and the way Bessy bowled was fantastic that first innings. 

"From that point on we always felt we were in control of things. We go into a massive game next week feeling we are in a really nice spot."

The last Test of the series begins in Johannesburg on Friday and Root acknowledged England must continue to react to changing conditions.

He added: "We've adapted quickly so far. We learned our lessons very quickly from Centurion and made sure we figured out a method that was going to be successful at Cape Town and stuck to it really well. Similarly here. 

"It'll be exactly the same in Joburg. It'll be very different, different challenges for both batters and bowlers. 

"We must make sure we are very disciplined in how we set up and approach the conditions."

England eased to a first innings win away from home in more than nine years after dismissing a stubborn South Africa tail on the final morning of the third Test.

The tourists' opening spell was not as devastating as the Sunday burst that saw the final four first-innings wickets fall for just a single run, but victory was never in doubt, a 2-1 series lead secured in dominant fashion.

Starting on 102-6 - still 188 runs behind - Stuart Broad got Vernon Philander (13) with the third ball of the day, before Kagiso Rabada followed after a brief show of resilience.

Dom Bess removed Anrich Nortje for five, and although Keshav Maharaj disrupted England's rhythm with a slew of boundaries, ending on 71, a 99-run stand for the 10th wicket concluded with his run-out.

South Africa eventually succumbed by an innings and 53 runs, with the January 2011 defeat of Australia in Sydney the last time England triumphed away from home without needing to bat a second time.

Any Proteas hope of frustrating England early in the day were initially tempered as Philander's inside edge popped up off his pad for a stretching Ollie Pope to take his sixth catch of the match at short midwicket.

Rabada, suspended for the fourth Test, looked to depart the series in style, quickly moving to 16 off 24 balls. But his exit to Mark Wood was a feeble chip to Broad at mid-on with less than half an hour played.

Bess, who claimed 5-51 in the first innings, then took his first wicket of the second with a quicker delivery through Nortje into middle and off, while Joe Root's (4-87) bid for a first career five-for continued against South Africa's final pairing.

Maharaj and Dane Paterson (39 not out) improbably provided the Proteas' most prolific partnership of the innings by far, the former having some fun with consecutive sixes in a Root over that brought 28 runs - tying the record in the longest format.

A second Test fifty soon arrived for Maharaj, who showed no signs of slowing, a maiden century moving into view.

But he could not quite get there with the final wicket summing up the South Africa display, Maharaj well short of his crease with Sam Curran firing in a direct hit from mid-on.

The fourth Test in Johannesburg starts on January 24.

Billy Vunipola looks set to miss the entire Six Nations after Saracens confirmed the England number eight suffered a broken arm in their European Champions Cup victory over Racing 92.

Vunipola was hurt in the early stages of Sunday's contest at Allianz Park, with fears he had suffered a fracture that would lead to a lengthy lay-off.

In a statement on Monday, Saracens confirmed the 27-year-old had broken his arm for the fourth time in the last two years.

Although the European champions did not put a timescale on his recovery, it appears certain Vunipola will miss the Six Nations, which runs from February 1 to March 14.

Saracens' statement read: "Billy Vunipola has suffered a broken arm.

"He will see a consultant over the coming days to determine the full extent of the injury before undergoing rehabilitation."

The news also represents a significant blow to Sarries, who have endured a nightmare week with confirmation of their impending relegation from the Premiership due to salary cap breaches.

With the club set to play in the second tier of English rugby in 2020-21, the futures of their England internationals, including Vunipola, have come under scrutiny.

Temba Bavuma has been recalled to an expanded South Africa squad for the fourth and final Test against England at the Wanderers.

Bavuma missed the Boxing Day Test through injury and was not selected for the next two despite the Proteas' obvious struggles in the batting department.

Having been told to return to domestic cricket and make his mark, the 29-year-old duly delivered with a superb 180 for the Lions against the Dolphins last week, his highest first-class score, and is likely to return to the South Africa XI in Johannesburg.

Beuran Hendricks, Keegan Petersen and Andile Phehlukwayo have also been included in the squad, with South Africa on the verge of going 2-1 down in the series with England poised to win the third Test in Port Elizabeth.

Hendricks and Phehlukwayo will fight it out to replace the suspended Kagiso Rabada.

South Africa squad to face England in the fourth Test: Faf du Plessis (capt), Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Keshav Maharaj, Rassie van der Dussen, Pieter Malan, Zubayr Hamza, Anrich Nortje, Dane Paterson, Vernon Philander, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Temba Bavuma, Andile Phehlukwayo, Beuran Hendricks, Keegan Petersen.

Billy Vunipola is a major doubt for England's Six Nations campaign after sustaining a suspected broken arm on Sunday.

The number eight went off in the sixth minute of Saracens' 27-24 victory over Racing 92, a result that proved sufficient to ensure the week in which it was confirmed they would be demoted from the Premiership after breaching salary cap rules ended with progression to the European Champions Cup quarter-finals.

Vunipola has previously broken his right arm twice and his left arm once in the past two years and looks set to miss out on a place in Eddie Jones' Six Nations squad, which is set to be announced on Monday.

"They suspect a broken arm," said Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall. "I hope it's not. I don't think it's been confirmed yet."

The 27-year-old featured in every England game as they finished as 2019 Rugby World Cup runners-up to South Africa.

England begin their Six Nations campaign away to France on February 2.

Mark Boucher warned South Africa must "man up" after they were "outskilled" by England on day four of the third Test at St George's Park.

England captain Joe Root took 4-31 in Port Elizabeth after Mark Wood struck twice to ensure England require just four wickets on the final day to take a 2-1 lead with one match to play.

The Proteas were all out for only 209 after losing their last four first-innings wickets for only one run early on the penultimate day and they were in deep trouble on 102-6 - trailing by 188 runs - following on at stumps.

South Africa head coach Boucher offered a frank assessment of his side's shortcomings following a painful rain-affected day, which left them surely relying on the weather to save them on Monday.

"I think we were outskilled, to be honest," he told Sky Sports. "You can blame different things for the situation but I've got to look at myself and find a way to get the players up mentally and upskill them in a short space of time.

"I do think Joe Root was difficult to play at the end there. It's difficult to get down to the pitch of the ball - one slides on, one turns and it's like quicksand, the harder you try the deeper you sink.

"But we've created this situation for ourselves. No excuses - we've got to man up now and take this forward and learn from these lessons.

"When you're under the pump for a long time, every side has its breaking point and today we broke quite early, which is disappointing."

Faf du Plessis went 54 balls without scoring at one point before he was sent packing by part-time spinner Root for 36, but Boucher insisted it is not time to discuss his future as captain.

"That's not a call to make a this moment in time," Boucher said. "He's trying really hard and working really hard away from the game. 

"If he's not scoring runs there's that extra pressure. The best way to answer that is putting runs on the board.

"There's no hiding place in Test cricket. He's disappointed from a team perspective. He spent a bit of time in the middle, which is good for his confidence."

Sunshine Girl vice-captain Nicole Dixon showered praise on head coach Connie Francis following Sunday’s 59-54 win over South Africa in their opening match of the 2020 Vitality Nations Cup.

Joe Root produced the finest bowling performance of his England career on day four of the third Test to put the tourists within sight of victory over South Africa at St George's Park.

Surely only rain can save the hosts now, with a mixed forecast for the final day in Port Elizabeth, where England need only four wickets to take a 2-1 lead with one match to play.

Root had never taken more than two wickets in a Test, but the captain snagged 4-31 in 19 overs on Sunday after Mark Wood struck twice to leave South Africa 102-6 in their second innings, still trailing by 188 runs.

Part-time off-spinner Root only had one previous four-wicket haul, the 4-5 he took to steer Yorkshire to a County Championship victory against Lancashire at Old Trafford in July 2018.

England were already in command and they pressed home their advantage on day four, with 10 South Africa wickets falling for just 103 runs.

South Africa had a wretched morning, losing four wickets for just one run to slump from 208-6 to 209 all out. England had no hesitation in enforcing the follow-on.

Vernon Philander and Quinton de Kock were 54 runs into a seventh-wicket stand at stumps on the previous evening, but that partnership was swiftly broken.

Both men went the same way, bowled through the gate, with Stuart Broad (3-30) cleaning up Philander and Sam Curran delighting at removing De Kock (63).

Keshav Maharaj chopped on to give Broad his second wicket of the morning, before a third followed for the paceman when Kagiso Rabada chipped straight to Wood at mid-off.

South Africa were 15-0 in their second innings when rain arrived to provide respite, with three hours lost.

Eight balls into the resumption came another blow to the Proteas, Wood piercing Dean Elgar's defences and tearing his off stump out of the ground.

Wood (2-23) struck again when a leg-side snick from the struggling Zubayr Hamza was gratefully received by Jos Buttler.

Sliced and diced by England's quicks, South Africa found the tourists' spinners almost unplayable too, with Dom Bess keeping a tight line, but Root rampant.

Root pinned Pieter Malan lbw for 12 - the opener having faced 79 balls for those runs - and then prised out Rasse van der Dussen when Ollie Pope took off from short leg to grab a spectacular leaping catch.

Van der Dussen had survived a string of scares against Root, most notably when he successfully reviewed an lbw decision, and his time had been coming.

De Kock's bad day got even worse, a horribly sliced hoik at Root looping up for Wood to clutch a tremendous catch above his head at point.

And Root had a fourth victim when Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis (36) got a big inside edge into his pads and the ball looped up for Pope to collect.

South Africa need to find something big on day five to save face, and avoid going to Johannesburg needing a victory to draw the series. The skies offer their best hope.

Mark McCall has made it clear he intends to remain with Saracens following their relegation, but the director of rugby acknowledges the future of his club's biggest stars may be influenced by England head coach Eddie Jones.

A Premiership Rugby statement on Saturday confirmed Sarries will be demoted from the top flight at the end of the 2019-20 season, following multiple breaches of the competition's salary cap.

Six members of the England team that started last year's World Cup final play for European champions, including captain Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and Mako and Billy Vunipola, with significant uncertainty now surrounding their futures.

The London club will not be eligible to play in next term's Champions Cup once they are in the second tier of English rugby, meaning the likes of Farrell and Itoje face a year away from elite club competitions should they stay put.

In an interview with BT Sport ahead of his team's crunch clash with Racing 92 on Sunday, McCall said: "Obviously the news has just come in the last 48 hours, so there's a lot of thinking for us to do and a lot of decisions to make.

"And every player's situation is slightly different - what happens to our established internationals? What does Eddie Jones want to happen to our established internationals, et cetera. et cetera.

"But those decisions and those conversations I think are for another day. Today we just try and get on with the rugby."

Asked about his own future, McCall added: "The one thing now, it feels like there's a line drawn in the sand. We have some real clarity around the future and we can plan for that future and I really want to be part of that.

"I don't think this is the best time to be pointing fingers or trying to apportion blame. This is a time for unity and togetherness. We've got this remarkable playing group who over the last 10 weeks have shown, I think, an incredible amount of resilience given all of the stuff that's been going on off the field."

England enjoyed a dream start to day four of the third Test against South Africa as they took four wickets for just one run before enforcing the follow-on with a 290-run lead.

South Africa ended day three on 208-6 in Port Elizabeth, with Quinton de Kock (63) and Vernon Philander (27) having held firm in the evening session.

However, the tourists took the new ball halfway through the final over on Saturday, and the fresh cherry did plenty of damage the following morning as South Africa collapsed alarmingly to 209 all out.

Amid overcast conditions at St George's Park, Stuart Broad led the way, sending Philander's stumps cartwheeling with his sixth delivery of the day before Sam Curran dismissed the Proteas' star performer De Kock.

Both Philander and De Kock were bowled through the gate, having left huge gaps between bat and pad with careless drives.

Keshav Maharaj also fell to a poor shot, playing on to Broad for a duck as he attempted to pull a ball that was not short enough for the shot.

Kagiso Rabada scored South Africa's only run with a clip down the leg side off Curran, but he soon departed as well, tamely chipping a Broad delivery straight to mid-off.

Joe Root, who instructed Dom Bess (5-31) to lead England off the pitch, unsurprisingly invited South Africa to bat again as the visitors looked to press home their advantage and secure a 2-1 series lead ahead of the final Test in Johannesburg.

The prospect of further rain provided some comfort to South Africa, who were facing a huge battle to avoid defeat without interruptions in play.

England skipper Joe Root prompted confusion and hilarity on day two of the third Test with South Africa as he withdrew a declaration after a wicket was ruled out due to a no-ball.

When Mark Wood was caught at mid-on off Kagiso Rabada to seemingly leave England 467-9, Root called a halt to his side's first innings at Port Elizabeth.

However, replays then showed Rabada had over-stepped, prompting Root to reverse his decision and instead advise his side to carry on batting.

Wood and Ollie Pope, who had earlier completed his maiden Test century, made the most of the bizarre situation by plundering a further 31 runs - in addition to the run England received for Rabada's no-ball - in quick time.

After racing to 42 from 23 balls, Wood eventually holed out to deep midwicket off Keshav Maharaj (5-180) and England declared on 499-9, with Pope 135 not out.

Ben Stokes (120) had also reached three figures for the tourists prior to lunch as they kicked on superbly from an overnight score of 224-4.

Ben Stokes surpassed 4,000 Test runs on Friday with his century in the third Test against South Africa, becoming just the second England player to reach that landmark and take 100 wickets in the longest format.

The all-rounder joined compatriot Ian Botham on the list of players to achieve both feats, which now features seven men after Stokes' exploits in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

Of those to have gone beyond 4,000 runs, India great Kapil Dev has the most wickets to his name with 434. Botham, who scored 5,200 runs in his career, is second with 383 wickets.

Stokes will look to add to his tally when South Africa begin their first innings at St George's Park. England reached lunch on day two on 335-4 with Stokes and Ollie Pope unbeaten on 108 and 75 respectively.

Daniel Vettori, Jacques Kallis, Garfield Sobers and Carl Hooper round off the list.

Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff fell short of 4,000 runs in his career. He took 226 wickets but managed 3,845 runs before retiring from Test cricket.

Harry Maguire has been named as Manchester United's new club captain.

England centre-back Maguire joined United in an £80million deal last August and succeeds Ashley Young, who is on the verge of a move to Inter.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed the news ahead of Sunday's Premier League trip to Liverpool.

"Harry has been wearing the captain's armband and he will keep wearing it," Solskjaer told a news conference.

"He's been a leader in the group and I've been impressed by his leadership skills.

"He's come in and everything about him tells me he's a leader. He's been leading this young group.

"Harry will keep on wearing the armband now."

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