Delon Armitage in the England Rugby squad
July 02, 2010
England manager Martin Johnson has dropped flanker Steffon Armitage from his new elite 32-man squad.
It will come as a bitter blow to London Irish’s player of the year, who finished last season in blistering form, scoring eight tries in the club’s final nine games of the season.
Armitage was the Premiership’s top-scoring forward and was selected for England’s recent summer tour of Australia.
Although he did not feature in either of the Test matches, he scored an early try in the final game of the tour, a 35-28 defeat by New Zealand Maori.
But he and Exiles scrum-half Paul Hodgson have now been demoted to the Saxons squad where they will link up with clubmate Alex Corbisiero.
Armitage’s older brother Delon, who plays full-back for London Irish, is now the club’s only representative in the elite squad.
Exiles, though, are sure to benefit from not having so many players called up for international duty during the season.
During the autumn internationals London Irish have Premiership away trips at Wasps, Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers, all sides who are likely to lose more of their squad to Martin Johnson’s team.
England elite player squad: Forwards (18): T Payne (Wasps), A Sheridan (Sale), D Cole (Leicester), P Doran-Jones (Gloucester), D Wilson (Bath); G Chuter (Leicester), D Hartley (Northampton), S Thompson (Leeds); D Attwood (Gloucester), C Lawes (Northampton), T Palmer (Stade Francais), S Shaw (Wasps); T Croft (Leicester), N Easter (Harlequins), H Fourie (Leeds), J Haskell (Stade Francais), L Moody (Leicester), J Worsley (Wasps). Backs (14): D Armitage (London Irish), B Foden (Northampton); C Ashton (Northampton), M Banahan (Bath), M Cueto (Sale), D Strettle (Harlequins); R Flutey (Brive), S Hape (Bath), M Tindall (Gloucester), D Waldouck (Wasps); T Flood (Leicester), J Wilkinson (Toulon); D Care (Harlequins), B Youngs (Leicester).
England Saxons squad: Forwards (18): D Bell (Bath), A Corbisiero (London Irish), J Golding (Newcastle), M Mullan (Worcester); L Mears (Bath), R Webber (Wasps); S Borthwick (Saracens), L Deacon (Leicester), G Parling (Leicester); S Armitage (London Irish), J Crane (Leicester), P Dowson (Northampton), L Narraway (Gloucester), T Rees (Wasps), C Robshaw (Harlequins), A Saull (Saracens), D Ward-Smith (Wasps), T Wood (Worcester). Backs (14): N Abendanon (Bath), A Goode (Saracens); U Monye (Harlequins), J Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester), A Allen (Leicester), B Barritt (Saracens), D Hipkiss (Leicester), M Tait (Sale); S Geraghty (Northampton), C Hodgson (Sale), S Myler (Northampton); P Hodgson (London Irish), J Simpson (Wasps), R Wigglesworth (Sale).
* Former London Irish fly-half Barry Everitt has announced his retirement from professional rugby.
During a 10-year Premiership career, the Ireland A player scored more than 1,200 league points.
Everitt helped Exiles win the Powergen Cup in 2002, while he was part of Northampton Saints’ 2009 European Challenge Cup-winning squad and their victorious LV= Cup group last term.
He has taken up a new role as director of sport at Cranmore Preparatory School for Boys in Surrey.
Everitt said: “I’ve had an enjoyable and successful career in rugby and been fortunate to play with the leading provinces in Ireland and two famous clubs in England.
“Along the way, I’ve worked with great coaches and shared the playing field and training grounds with many talented players.”