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The BBC's Ian Robertson looks at Woodward's choice
"Dawson will benefit from the break"
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Wednesday, 7 June, 2000, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
Johnson reclaims England captaincy
Martin Johnson
Back at the helm: Johnson is fit and raring to go
Martin Johnson has been reappointed England captain for the tour of South Africa, after Matt Dawson was forced to withdraw through injury.

England coach Clive Woodward has named several uncapped players in a young squad, including wing Liam Botham, lock Andrew Sheridan, centre Ben Johnston and flanker Paul Volley.
South Africa v England
17 June, in Pretoria
24 June, in Bloemfontein.

Aspiring Test prop David Flatman also made the cut, while wing Dan Luger is fully fit again and joins the squad.

Six Nations captain Dawson, who dislocated his shoulder in a Premiership match 10 days ago, is not the only major injury casualty from the 40-man squad.

Experienced players like prop Phil Vickery, lock Garath Archer, scrum-half Andy Gomarsall, fly-half Paul Grayson, fullback Nick Beal and wing Iain Balshaw all require rest and in some cases operations, and will not be making the trip either.

But Woodward has also been ruthless in cutting out some former stalwarts of the side as he builds towards the 2003 World Cup, with centre Phil de Glanville, utility forward Tim Rodber and hooker Richard Cockerill all left out.
Matt Dawson
Major blow: Dawson is out

Injury worries surrounding 20-year-old fly-half Jonny Wilkinson appear to have subsided. He is included in the 40, despite suffering from an ongoing groin injury.

Johnson was first appointed captain a year ago, in the wake of the scandal that ended Lawrence Dallaglio's stint as skipper.

The giant Leicester lock missed the whole Six Nations tournament with a string of injuries, during which time Dawson deputised. His last match as captain was England's World Cup quarter-final defeat to the Springboks.

But he returned to fitness in time to lead the Tigers to a second consecutive Premiership title, and Woodward has noted that Johnson skippered the British Lions to an historic series victory in South Africa in 1997.
David Flatman
David Flatman: Pressing for Test place

"Although there remain a number of candidates within the squad who could do the job, Martin has recovered well from his injury and played some excellent rugby in the past few weeks," said the coach.

"He had a superb tour in South Africa with the British Lions three years ago, and like me he is aiming for England to give a good account of themselves on this tour."

The injury to Dawson opens the way for the return of the fit-again Kyran Bracken, or possibly Wasps half-back Martyn Wood.

Woodward is likely to take the chance of blooding some young forwards, including Flatman who is pressing veteran prop Jason Leonard for a place in the side.

England already have one of the youngest back-lines in world rugby and their coach will be aiming to build fresh foundations in the forwards.

England squad

Backs: S Benton (Leeds), L Botham (Newcastle), K Bracken (Saracens), M Catt (Bath), B Cohen (Northampton), W Greenwood (Leicester), S Hanley (Sale), A Healey (Leicester), B Johnston (Saracens), A King (Wasps), J Lewsey (Wasps), L Lloyd (Leicester), D Luger (Saracens), M Perry (Bath), T Stimpson (Leicester), M Tindall (Bath), R Thirlby (Bath), J Wilkinson (Newcastle), M Wood (Wasps).

Forwards: N Back (Leicester), S Borthwick (Bath), M Corry (Leicester), L Dallaglio (Wasps), D Flatman (Saracens), D Garforth (Leicester), W Green (Wasps), P Greening (Wasps), D Grewcock (Saracens), M Johnson (Leicester, capt), R Hill (Saracens), J Leonard (Harlequins), A Long (Bath), M Regan (Bath), S Shaw (Wasps), A Sheridan (Bristol), P Volley (Wasps), J White (Saracens), R Winters (Bedford), T Woodman (Gloucester), J Worsley (Wasps).

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See also:

21 May 00 | Rugby Union
Back sinks Bath's pretenders
18 May 00 | Rugby Union
Saints suffer Dawson blow
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Vos to skipper Springboks
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Joost stands down as skipper
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Woodward waits on injured tourists
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England's new boys: Backs
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England's new boys: Forwards