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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 January 2007, 13:27 GMT
Hill & Cohen out of Saxons squad
Richard Hill
Hill last played for England back in June 2004
World Cup winners Richard Hill, Ben Cohen and Ben Kay have been left out of England Saxons' 23-man training squad to face Italy A on 2 February.

Pat Sanderson, who led England last summer, has also been left out.

Hill has returned to action after more than a year out with a knee injury but coach Jim Mallinder wants to give the flanker more time to build his fitness.

"I think we have got a good blend of young talent and experience," said Mallinder.

"Every player in the squad has been selected on form and they are all playing well for their clubs in the Guinness Premiership."

Mallinder said he had left Hill out in order to give him more time to get back to full fitness after his lengthy lay-off.

"Having discussed things with his club, Ashton and I have decided that, for the moment, Richard will stay with Saracens to take some more time to recover," added Mallinder.

The squad features Bristol scrum-half Shaun Perry and Gloucester lock Alex Brown after both were released from the senior Test squad.

And other players have been added to the initial 32-man squad for the match at Exeter Chiefs' Sandy Park Stadium.

Northampton prop Pat Barnard is selected in place of the injured David Wilson, while Leicester's Ollie Smith and Harlequins' Will Skinner also earn call-ups.

Gloucester flanker James Forrester, Leicester winger Tom Varndell and Bath centre Chev Walker were all not considered because of injury.

The 28-year-old Cohen admitted he was unhappy at being dropped from the Test side to the Saxons in Brian Ashton's first squad as England head coach, a decision he found out about from television.

England Saxons squad to face Italy A:
Backs: Nick Abendanon (Bath), Anthony Allen (Gloucester), Olly Barkley (Bath), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Ryan Lamb (Gloucester), Olly Morgan (Gloucester), Shaun Perry (Bristol), James Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester), Ollie Smith (Leicester), David Strettle (Harlequins), Richard Wigglesworth (Sale)

Forwards: Pat Barnard (Northampton), Alex Brown (Gloucester), Jordan Crane (Leicester), James Haskell (Wasps), Nick Easter (Harlequins), Dylan Hartley (Northampton), Chris Jones (Sale), Dean Schofield (Sale), Will Skinner (Harlequins), Andy Titterrell (Sale), Stuart Turner (Sale), Nick Wood (Gloucester)

Players not considered because of injury: James Forrester (Gloucester), Tom Varndell (Leicester), Chev Walker (Bath), David Wilson (Newcastle)

Hill battles back
29 Nov 06 |  Rugby Union


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