By Mitch Phillips
LONDON (Reuters) – Mike Brown was the most high-profile absentee from a 25-man squad named by England coach Eddie Jones on Tuesday for Saturday’s Twickenham test against South Africa.
Brown, 33, has been a regular under Jones, usually at fullback but playing on the wing with some success in the June tour of South Africa. However, he was not among the group of 25 who will remain in a training camp in Portugal.
His absence means Elliot Daly is likely to start at fullback, with Jonny May, Jack Nowell and Chris Ashton competing for the wing berths.
Also missing is Ben Morgan, who was recalled to the squad to cover the absence of Billy Vunipola. That means a likely start at number eight for Zach Mercer, one of three uncapped players in the group, which will be trimmed to 23 on Thursday morning.
Lock Courtney Lawes has been ruled out with a back injury but will stay in Portugal.
England 25-man squad
ForwardsTom Curry (Sale Sharks)Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)Jamie George (Saracens)Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints) co-captainAlec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs)Maro Itoje (Saracens)George Kruis (Saracens)Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby)Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs) Brad Shields (Wasps)Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)Elliott Stooke (Bath Rugby)Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons) BacksChris Ashton (Sale Sharks)Danny Care (Harlequins)Elliot Daly (Wasps)Owen Farrell (Saracens) co-captainGeorge Ford (Leicester Tigers)Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Ed Osmond)