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Last Updated: Monday, 8 August 2005, 13:31 GMT 14:31 UK
Convert Farrell wins England call
Farrell was awarded an OBE for his services to rugby league
Rugby league convert Andy Farrell has been named in England's elite players squad for the new rugby union season.

The former Great Britain captain, 30, joined Saracens from Wigan in March.

He is one of 61 players named in the squad by the Rugby Football Union, with 45 forming the senior squad and 16 making up the Senior National Academy.

England head coach Andy Robinson said: "These 61 players will form the backbone of our England hopes and aspirations for the coming season."

Farrell, who has yet to make his debut in the 15-man code, is joined by five fellow elite squad newcomers in Perpignan prop Perry Freshwater, Wasps wing Paul Sackey, Gloucester scrum-half Peter Richards and Bath front-row forwards Lee Mears and Duncan Bell.

Ten other players - Andy Beattie, Matt Stevens, Olly Barkley, Louis Deacon, Ollie Smith, James Forrester, Tom Palmer, Tom Voyce, Chris Jones and Andrew Sheridan - have been promoted from last season's senior academy squad.

Senior elite players squad
S Abbott (Wasps), I Balshaw (Leeds), O Barkley (Bath), A Beattie (Bath), D Bell (Bath), S Borthwick (Bath), G Chuter (Leicester), B Cohen (Northampton), M Corry (Leicester), M Cueto (Sale Sharks), M Dawson (Wasps), L Deacon (Leicester), H Ellis (Leicester), A Farrell (Saracens), J Forrester (Gloucester), P Freshwater (Perpignan), A Gomarsall (Worcester), W Greenwood (Harlequins), D Grewcock (Bath), A Hazell (Gloucester), C Hodgson (Sale Sharks), C Jones (Sale Sharks), B Kay (Leicester), J Lewsey (Wasps), L Mears (Bath), L Moody (Leicester), J Noon (Newcastle), T Palmer (Leeds), P Richards (Gloucester), J Robinson (Sale Sharks), G Rowntree (Leicester), P Sackey (Wasps), S Shaw (Wasps), A Sheridan (Sale Sharks), J Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester), O Smith (Leicester), M Stevens (Bath), S Thompson (Northampton), M Tindall (Gloucester), A Titterrell (Sale Sharks), P Vickery (Gloucester), T Voyce (Wasps), J White (Leicester), J Wilkinson (Newcastle), J Worsley (Wasps).

National Academy squad
A Allen (Gloucester), C Bell (Leeds), C Brooker (Bath), J Crane (Leeds), R Davis (Bath), B Foden (Sale Sharks), S Geraghty (London Irish), D Hartley (Northampton), R Hawkins (Bath), S Hooper (Leeds), M Lund (Sale Sharks), O Morgan (Gloucester), T Rees (Wasps), D Seymour (Saracens), M Tait (Newcastle), D Wilson (Newcastle).



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