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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 August 2006, 13:12 GMT 14:12 UK
Voyce dropped from England elite
Wing Tom Voyce in action for England against Australia
Voyce started four Tests last season
England coach Andy Robinson has dropped Wasps wing Tom Voyce from his new 55-man Elite Player Squad.

Voyce, who started this summer's first Test against Australia, was dropped for the second Test after a poor display and is now out of favour altogether.

Rugby league convert Andy Farrell, still to start a game of union, has been retained, while Bristol scrum-half Shaun Perry is among those called up.

Jonny Wilkinson is also included as he looks to relaunch his Test career.

Wilkinson was also named in last year's EPS squad but after another injury-interrupted season has still yet to play for England since the 2003 World Cup final.

"Everyone hopes that Jonny has put his injuries behind him and is able to play regularly for Newcastle," said Robinson.

I am looking forward to working with Andy Farrell

Andy Robinson
That also applies to Farrell, who was included in last year's EPS squad before he had played a game of union, and is still waiting for his debut in the 15-man code after a nightmare run of injuries.

The 31-year-old, recovering from knee surgery when Saracens signed him, has now gone 16 months without playing a game in either code.

He was struck down with a broken toe in pre-season last year which later required surgery, before suffering a prolapsed disc in his back in a car accident, which also needed an operation.

Farrell and Perry are the only uncapped players in the 40-man senior squad, with 15 more players selected for the Senior National Academy.

Leicester wing Tom Varndell has to settle for a place in the latter, despite starting both Tests against Australia.

Voyce, who also played in four of England's five Six Nations matches last season, is the biggest casualty of those to lose their places in the elite.

Gloucester duo Alex Brown and Andy Hazell, Leicester centre Ollie Smith and Sale hooker Andy Titterrell are also among those omitted, as is veteran Leicester prop Graham Rowntree, who is winding down his playing career this season.

The prospects for Brown, another starter against Australia, and Voyce may be bleak after Robinson said some players "won't play for England again" after the first Test.

But in recent years, plenty of players have featured in internationals who were not named in the elite squad at the start of the season.

Two years ago Mark Cueto was not among the 59 players named, but by October had been called up for Robinson's first squad and scored eight tries in his first eight Tests.

Exclusion from these squads does not mean that the selection door to England is closed

Andy Robinson
Last year's party of 61 players did not include Pat Sanderson, who subsequently played in the autumn Tests and captained England on their summer tour to Australia.

Brown, Varndell and Andy Goode, who all made Test debuts last season, and Mike Catt - recalled after a two-year absence - were also missing from the initial squad last season.

Catt is restored to the EPS as he contemplates his final season as a player, as is former captain Lawrence Dallaglio after coming out of Test retirement this year.

The Senior National Academy squad features some of the Premiership's brightest young talent such as Gloucester fly-half Ryan Lamb and Leicester number eight Jordan Crane.

It also includes Northampton's South Africa-born prop Pat Barnard, who qualifies for England courtesy of his mother, who is from Reading.

His call-up reflects the need to increase England's depth in a position where head coach Andy Robinson has lost Matt Stevens - not included after his latest injury setback - for the autumn Tests and doubts persist over Phil Vickery's future.

Perry Freshwater, who plays for French side Perpignan, has been invited to all England's training sessions, with camps to be held at Loughborough in September and October.

"I'm very excited about this new squad, which faces a challenging year ahead leading into the 2007 World Cup," Robinson added.

Senior elite players squad (2006/07):

Backs: Iain Balshaw (Gloucester), Ben Cohen (Northampton), Mark Cueto (Sale), Josh Lewsey (Wasps), James Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester), Mark Van Gisbergen (Wasps); Stuart Abbott (Harlequins), Olly Barkley (Bath), Mike Catt (London Irish), Andy Farrell (Saracens), Jamie Noon (Newcastle), Mathew Tait (Newcastle), Mike Tindall (Gloucester); Andy Goode (Leicester), Charlie Hodgson (Sale), Jonny Wilkinson (Newcastle); Harry Ellis (Leicester), Shaun Perry (Bristol), Peter Richards (Gloucester).

Forwards: George Chuter (Leicester Tigers), Lee Mears (Bath), Steve Thompson (Northampton); Tim Payne (Wasps), Andy Sheridan (Sale), Phil Vickery (Wasps), Julian White (Leicester); Steve Borthwick (Bath), Louis Deacon (Leicester), Danny Grewcock (Bath), Chris Jones (Sale), Ben Kay (Leicester), Simon Shaw (Wasps); Martin Corry (Leicester), Lawrence Dallaglio (Wasps), James Forrester (Gloucester), Michael Lipman (Bath), Magnus Lund (Sale), Lewis Moody (Leicester), Pat Sanderson (Worcester), Joe Worsley (Wasps).

*In addition to these Premiership players, Perry Freshwater (Perpignan) will be invited to attend all England training sessions.

Senior National Academy squad
Anthony Allen (Gloucester), Pat Barnard (Northampton), Jon Clarke (Northampton), Jordan Crane (Leicester), Ben Foden (Sale), Toby Flood (Newcastle), Richard Haughton (Saracens), Ryan Lamb (Gloucester), Olly Morgan (Gloucester), David Paice (London Irish), Tom Rees (Wasps), David Seymour (Saracens), Ben Skirving (Saracens), Tom Varndell (Leicester), David Wilson (Newcastle).

Convert Farrell wins England call
08 Aug 05 |  Internationals
RFU names elite squad
29 Jul 04 |  Internationals


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