England pick new skipper by George but star forwards dropped for Six Nations as Aussies called up by Ireland, France


England’s Jamie George, France’s Gregory Alldritt and Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony have been handed the captaincy jobs for their countries at the forthcoming Six Nations Championship.

Saracens’ 85-times capped hooker George has been named as the new England skipper as coach Steve Borthwick included seven uncapped players in his 36-man squad for the Six Nations, which begins for his team on February 3 away to Italy.

He’s one of the few players absolutely assured of his place as England undergo a period of transition after regular captain Owen Farrell’s decision to stand down from international rugby and the usual post-World Cup turnover.

The uncapped players are Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter), Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins), Ethan Roots (Exeter Chiefs), Oscar Beard (Harlequins), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks) and Fin Smith (Northampton Saints).

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Prop Kyle Sinckler, reported to be on the brink of securing a move to French club Toulon, and No.8 Billy Vunipola, are notable absentees, with Borthwick saying he had spoken to both about what they needed to do to get back into contention.

Billy Vunipola. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Veteran Munster backrow O’Mahony leads Ireland’s push as coach Andy Farrell began the post-Johnny Sexton era by naming an experienced 34-man squad to defend their European title.

O’Mahony, 34, has captained Ireland 10 times before, having led Ireland at under-age levels before winning his first of his 101 caps. He also captained the British & Irish Lions in the opening Test of the 2017 tour to New Zealand.

O’Mahony got the armband ahead of new Leinster co-captains Garry Ringrose and James Ryan, who were included in the squad.

“Ever since I was a boy starting off in the game, I have always dreamed of captaining Ireland,” O’Mahony said.

Australian Finlay Bealham is in the squad but Mack Hansen, his Canberra colleague, is ruled out with injury.

Alldritt will captain France, the experienced La Rochelle No.8 taking over from Antoine Dupont.

Halfback Dupont, generally regarded as the world’s top rugby player, hopes to be part of the French sevens squad for the Paris Olympics later this year and is due to play in two World Series sevens tournaments during the Six Nations.

France head coach Fabien Galthie has named six uncapped players, including Racing 92 halfback Nolann Le Garrec, among a 34-strong squad.

Galthie has selected Emmanuel Meafou, the giant lock who was born in New Zealand and raised in Australian, for the first time. France tried to fast-track his selection for the World Cup last year but he did not qualify for his adopted nation until after the tournament.

England: Forwards: Ollie Chessum, Dan Cole, Alex Coles, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Chandler Cunningham-South, Ben Curry, Theo Dan, Alex Dombrandt, Ben Earl, Ellis Genge, Jamie George (capt), Joe Heyes, Nick Isiekwe, Maro Itoje, Joe Marler, Beno Obano, Tom Pearson, Ethan Roots, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill.
Backs: Oscar Beard, Danny Care, Elliot Daly, Fraser Dingwall, Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, George Ford, Tommy Freeman, George Furbank, Ollie Lawrence, Alex Mitchell, Tom Roebuck, Henry Slade, Fin Smith, Marcus Smith, Ben Spencer, Freddie Steward.

Ireland: Forwards: Ryan Baird, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Caelan Doris, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Iain Henderson, Ronan Kelleher, Jeremy Loughman, Joe McCarthy, Peter O’Mahony (c), Tom O’Toole, Andrew Porter, James Ryan, Dan Sheehan, Tom Stewart, Nick Timoney, Josh van der Flier.
Backs: Bundee Aki, Harry Byrne, Craig Casey, Jack Crowley, Ciaran Frawley, Jamison Gibson-Park, Robbie Henshaw, Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour, James Lowe, Stuart McCloskey, Conor Murray, Calvin Nash, Garry Ringrose, Jacob Stockdale.

France: Forwards: Esteban Abadie, Dorian Aldegheri, Gregory Alldritt, Uini Atonio, Cyril Baille, Gaetan Barlot, Paul Boudehent, Francois Cros, Paul Gabrillagues, Matthias Halagahu, Anthony Jelonch, Thomas Laclayat, Julien Marchand, Peato Mauvaka, Emmanuel Meafou, Charles Ollivon, Romain Taofifenua, Sebastien Taofifenua, Reda Wardi, Cameron Woki
Backs: Louis Bielle-Biarrey, Jonathan Danty, Nicolas Depoortere, Gael Fickou, Emilien Gailleton, Antoine Gibert, Matthieu Jalibert, Melvyn Jaminet, Nolann Le Garrec, Matthis Lebel, Maxime Lucu, Yoram Moefana, Damian Penaud, Thomas Ramos.

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