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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 September 2005, 12:10 GMT 13:10 UK
England call-up for Van Gisbergen
Mark van Gisbergen poses with an England shirt
New Zealand-born Mark van Gisbergen is one of five uncapped players in the England squad for autumn Tests against Australia, New Zealand and Samoa.

The Wasps full-back, 28, is eligible for England after spending the last three years in this country.

Bath hooker Lee Mears, Perpignan prop Perry Freshwater and the Gloucester pair of scrum-half Peter Richards and lock Alex Brown are also included.

Leicester number eight Martin Corry has also been confirmed as captain.

Van Gisbergen's consistent form in helping Wasps to three successive Premiership titles and a Heineken Cup triumph has reaped its reward.

Following Jason Robinson's retirement from Test rugby, he could be promoted straight into the starting XV to play Australia on 12 November, with Tests against New Zealand and Samoa to follow.

"Mark is a quality player and I have been impressed by his performances for Wasps, not least his place-kicking," said England head coach Andy Robinson.

"I look forward to seeing how he fits in with the England squad."

There is a recall for experienced Worcester flanker Pat Sanderson but Robinson has also put an emphasis on youth with a call-up for Gloucester number eight James Forrester.

We are looking to develop a more mobile pack
England coach Andy Robinson
Several World Cup winners have been culled, with prop Julian White and lock Ben Kay - Lions tourists in the summer - the most surprising casualties.

The omission of White, a powerful scrummager, is a clear indication of Robinson's intent to develop England's style.

"It's about how we move England forward, and this selection was based on how we are going to play," he explained.

"Julian White is an outstanding scrummager, but Matt Stevens and Perry Freshwater offer mobility. We are looking to develop a more mobile pack."

Wing Ben Cohen, centre Will Greenwood and scrum-half Andy Gomarsall have also been omitted, possibly signalling the end of their Test careers.

The continued absence of fly-half Jonny Wilkinson, currently recovering from an appendix operation, meant Corry was always likely to continue as captain after leading England in their final two RBS Six Nations games last season.

"Martin led the team extremely well and I am sure he will take this opportunity to do so again against three very tough teams in November," Robinson added.

Two other players were not considered because of injury: Saracens big-money rugby league recruit Andy Farrell and Wasps' promising flanker Tom Rees.

The omissions also include Sale Sharks hooker Andy Titterrell, who toured New Zealand with the Lions earlier this summer.

Titterell, though, does feature on a 10-strong list of stand-by players, a contingent which also features White, his fellow Leicester prop Graham Rowntree, Bath lock Steve Borthwick and Newcastle youngster Mathew Tait.

The 30-man squad will train at Loughborough University from Sunday 2 October until Thursday 6 October, and be reduced to a match-day 22 for the week beginning 31 October.


Backs: I Balshaw (Leeds), J Lewsey (Wasps), M Van Gisbergen (Wasps), M Cueto (Sale Sharks), J Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester); S Abbott (Wasps), M Tindall (Gloucester), J Noon (Newcastle), O Smith (Leicester); A Goode (Leicester), C Hodgson (Sale Sharks); M Dawson (Wasps), H Ellis (Leicester), P Richards (Gloucester).

Forwards: P Freshwater (Perpignan), A Sheridan (Sale Sharks), M Stevens (Bath), P Vickery (Gloucester); L Mears (Bath), S Thompson (Northampton); A Brown (Gloucester), D Grewcock (Bath), T Palmer (Leeds), S Shaw (Wasps); M Corry (Leicester, capt), J Forrester (Gloucester), C Jones (Sale), L Moody (Leicester), P Sanderson (Worcester), J Worsley (Wasps).

Stand-by players: Graham Rowntree (Leicester Tigers), Andy Titterell (Sale Sharks), Julian White (Leicester Tigers), Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers), Steve Borthwick (Bath), Andy Hazell (Gloucester), Olly Barkley (Bath), Mathew Tait (Newcastle Falcons), Tom Voyce (London Wasps), Dan Scarbrough (Saracens).




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Mark van Gisbergen


Report: BBC rugby union correspondent Ian Robertson



SEE ALSO
Kiwi at home in Wasps nest
21 May 04 |  European Club
Convert Farrell wins England call
08 Aug 05 |  Internationals


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