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Hartley leads England tour of Argentina after Lions snub

21 April 2017

Denny Solomona and Sam Underhill are among 15 uncapped players named in England's 31-man rugby squad for their June tour to Argentina.

Solomona has scored 10 tries in 13 appearances for Sale since controversially switching codes in December.

Last year while still playing rugby league for Castleford, the New Zealand-born 23-year-old represented Samoa, but has embraced a shift of allegiance since moving to union.

Jones insisted eligibility rule changes had played no part in Solomona's selection, saying: "We don't need to warehouse players in England".

"It's about how you feel and how much you want it. Denny is keen to play for England".

"We have focused particularly on youth because we want to find players who are going to be better than the 16 players who are going on the Lions tour". "There's always floaties, for those who sink, so we'll find floaties for them", Jones said.

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"I watched him play against Gloucester at the weekend". He's still got a lot of work to do on his game, positionally, but we can work on those areas with him. He's got a certain X-factor'.

"He scores tries, that's their job", Jones said.

"Wingers are like goalkeepers - a goalkeeper has so many saves to make in the game and the good goalkeeper makes those saves".

"A good winger, when they get a good opportunity, they score and if they get half an opportunity, they score and that's what he's good at". But secondly, it gives him the chance to give nearly everyone with global aspirations, old and new, the most monumental boot up the backside.

Solomona will have his Test pedigree examined over two Tests in San Juan and Santa Fe armed with simple advice from Jones.

"[I want them] not to forget what they were good at, that's important", Jones said of his former rugby league players.

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"We're looking to discover the best young talent in England and see how we can bring them through", he added.

There will still be plenty of experience in England's touring party, with captain Dylan Hartley, Geroge Ford, Mike Brown, James Haskell, Chris Robshaw and Joe Launchbury all included after missing out on Lions places.

The highly-successful Under-20 production line has been raided in picking the debutants, but it is the senior players overlooked by the Lions who will form the core of the starting XV.

That will be scant consolation for, among others, Christian Wade, Tommy Taylor, Dan Robson, Mike Haley, Josh Beaumont, Don Armand, Marland Yarde, Semesa Rokoduguni, Teimana Harrison, Danny Cipriani and Mike Williams, all of whom would have regarded the Tests in San Juan (10 June) and Santa Fe (17 June) and as a flawless opportunity to push their global credentials. "If players aren't like that they won't play for England".

"It is exciting, it is a great opportunity for us because you don't usually get this opportunity to bring in a bunch of young, enthusiastic and good players into the squad at one time", Jones said.

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