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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 January 2007, 17:07 GMT
Vickery replaces Corry as captain
Phil Vickery and Jason Robinson
Vickery and Robinson are both World Cup winners
Phil Vickery has been named as England captain in place of Martin Corry in new coach Brian Ashton's first squad.

Jason Robinson has been recalled to the squad for the Six Nations, 15 months after retiring from Test rugby, and the injured Jonny Wilkinson also features.

Saracens' former Great Britain rugby league star Andy Farrell is one of four uncapped players in the 33-man squad.

He is joined by London Irish fly-half Shane Geraghty, Wasps flanker Tom Rees and Bristol forward Dan Ward-Smith.

Corry's 14 Tests as captain included the disastrous autumn series earlier this season which ended with former coach Andy Robinson leaving his post, but the Leicester number eight is included in the squad.

Vickery said he hoped Corry would retain his place in the side.

To pull on the England jersey is the most amazing privilege and honour you can have

England captain Phil Vickery

"Anyone who knows Cozza knows what a really top fella he is," Vickery told BBC Radio Five Live.

"England have been poor and we have to put those things right. But only a fool would say it was Martin Corry's fault.

"I'm disappointed for Martin, but he's a very strong character and surrounded by good people. Hopefully he'll be playing alongside me in the Six Nations."

Sale full-back Robinson returns to the international scene after retiring in September 2005 with 39 caps.

Fly-half Wilkinson has been named despite a season plagued by injury but Wasps pair Lawrence Dallaglio and Simon Shaw miss out on a spot in both the senior squad and the England Saxons.

World Cup winners Mike Tindall and Steve Thompson also find themselves back in the squad, as does 35-year-old Mike Catt.

Andy Farrell and Lawrence Dallaglio will have different reactions to Brian Ashton's first squad
Farrell is in the reckoning, but Dallaglio looks to be out of the picture

And Leicester fly-half Andy Goode, who started at number 10 in Andy Robinson's final Test in charge, finds himself out of the picture, with no place in either squad.

Vickery, who has captained England twice before during his 49-cap England career, has battled back from a serious back injury which had some questioning whether he would have to retire.

"Being out with a long-term injury helped me put things into perspective," the 30-year-old told BBC Radio Five Live.

"Obviously family comes first, but to run out and pull on the England jersey is the most amazing privilege and honour you can have."

Vickery said he would try to draw on lessons he has learned under former England captains such as Martin Johnson and Dallaglio.

606 DEBATE: Give your thoughts on the squad

"I'm pretty laid-back. I do get a little bit revved-up sometimes, usually with myself," said Vickery.

"I just try to make people feel comfortable and not get too carried away with having an armband on.

"I'm fortunate enough to have been involved in some teams with some fantastic captains. If I can try and take bits and pieces from those guys then I'll stand myself in good stead."

As a player and a captain, Phil is the right man to take England forward

England coach Brian Ashton

The 32-strong Saxons squad includes Ben Cohen and Ben Kay, both demoted after the autumn series, and another World Cup winner in Richard Hill, who has returned to action for Saracens after 16 months out through injury.

Also dropped to the Saxons squad are Worcester flanker Pat Sanderson, captain in Australia last summer, Sale lock Chris Jones and young Gloucester centre Anthony Allen, who were all involved in the autumn internationals.

Former Leeds Rhinos rugby league star Chev Walker, now at Bath, gets his first representative call-up in union with his inclusion in the squad to face Italy A and Ireland A next month.

The senior squad will train at Twickenham from 22-24 January ahead of the Six Nations opener against Scotland on 3 February.

Coach Ashton said: "Phil (Vickery) is a player of massive experience who has been at the top of the world and he has a great desire to lead England back there again.

"He showed in the autumn that he is back playing international rugby well and both as a player and a captain he is the right man to take England forward."


England squad:
Backs: I Balshaw (Gloucester), M Catt (London Irish), M Cueto (Sale Sharks), H Ellis (Leicester), A Farrell (Saracens), T Flood (Newcastle), S Geraghty (London Irish), J Lewsey (Wasps), J Noon (Newcastle), S Perry (Bristol), J Robinson (Sale Sharks), P Richards (Gloucester), P Sackey (Wasps), M Tait (Newcastle), M Tindall (Gloucester), J Wilkinson (Newcastle Falcons).

Forwards: A Brown (Gloucester), G Chuter (Leicester), M Corry (Leicester), L Deacon (Leicester), P Freshwater (Perpignan), D Grewcock (Bath), M Lund (Sale Sharks), L Mears (Bath), L Moody (Leicester), T Payne (Wasps), T Palmer (Wasps), T Rees (Wasps), S Thompson (Northampton), P Vickery (Wasps, capt), D Ward-Smith (Bristol), J White (Leicester), J Worsley (Wasps).

England Saxons squad
Backs: N Abendanon (Bath), S Abbott (Harlequins), A Allen (Gloucester), O Barkley (Bath), M Brown (Harlequins), B Cohen (Northampton), B Foden (Sale Sharks), R Lamb (Gloucester), O Morgan (Gloucester), J Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester), D Strettle (Harlequins), C Walker (Bath), T Varndell (Leicester), N Walshe (Bath), R Wigglesworth (Sale Sharks).

Forwards: A Clarke (Bristol), S Borthwick (Bath), C Brooker (Bath), J Crane (Leicester), N Easter (Harlequins), J Forrester (Gloucester), D Hartley (Northampton), J Haskell (Wasps), R Hill (Saracens), C Jones (Sale Sharks), B Kay (Leicester), P Sanderson (Worcester), D Schofield (Sale Sharks), A Titterrell (Sale Sharks), S Turner (Sale Sharks), D Wilson (Newcastle), N Wood (Gloucester).

SEE ALSO
New England era
02 Jan 07 |  English
Ashton vows to stick to his guns
20 Dec 06 |  English
Ashton 'cannot transform England'
20 Dec 06 |  Rugby Union
Ashton's big test
20 Dec 06 |  Rugby Union
Prop Vickery seals move to Wasps
26 Apr 06 |  English
Vickery injury blow hits England
26 Jan 06 |  Internationals
Robinson to quit internationals
24 Sep 05 |  English


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