England head coach Eddie Jones has warned his players to guard against complacency after naming a provisional elite training squad for this weekend’s pre-season training camp.
Jones has picked Fijian-born Nathan Hughes for the first time – the Wasps back row qualified on residency grounds in June – while hooker Tom Youngs and wing Jonny May return to the international fold.
A trio of established players miss out, however, with Danny Cipriani, Luther Burrell and Chris Ashton failing to win spots among the 45.
England have enjoyed an outstanding year with Jones masterminding Grand Slam success and a 3-0 series whitewash of Australia, but the 56-year-old insists the tide can quickly turn.
“While we acknowledge that we’re moving in the right direction, we also recognise that defeat is never far away,” Jones said. “It’s important the players all keep trying to improve and push themselves to reach new standards in their game. We cannot afford to have any complacency in our approach to this Test.”
The three-day camp held in Teddington, south-west London, will run from August 6-8.
The final 45-man EPS will be named on September 30 ahead of the autumn series against South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia when England will be seeking to extend their triumphant run to 14 wins.
“Our next game presents us with a huge challenge. England have not beaten South Africa since 2006 and we’ve lost our last five games against the Springboks at Twickenham,” Jones said. “Not a single player who will attend the pre-season camp has played in a side that has ever beaten South Africa.”