England Saxons

England Saxons is the current name of England's men's second national rugby union team. The team has previously been known by a number of names, such as England B, Emerging England and, most recently, England A. The Saxons play a key role in the development of emerging talent, allowing players to gain experience in an international environment and to show that they have the ability to perform at Test level for the England first team.

England Saxons is one of three sides that regularly compete in the annual Churchill Cup competition, the others being the full national teams of Canada and the United States. Since 2006, they have also played two matches, against Ireland A and Italy A, in parallel with the full Six Nations Championship.

The Saxons are currently coached on a part-time basis by Steve Bates, Coaching and Technical Director of Newcastle Falcons, assisted by the Rugby Football Union’s National Academy coaches, Graham Rowntree and Simon Hardy.


England's second team was known as England B until 1992, when it was renamed as England A. In 2000, as part of its long-term strategic plan, the RFU re-examined the role of the 'second team' and decided that a change of name was desirable. Several names were considered – e.g. England Aces and England Bloods – before the name England Saxons was chosen from a short-list of possibles. The change of name took effect from mid-May 2006, just before the start of that year's Churchill Cup.

The Saxons are seen as an integral part of the RFU's development process:

England Saxons games do not count as full internationals as players are not capped.

Participation in international competition

England A / Saxons have participated in the Churchill Cup since its inception in 2003. Under the current format, they play three games, two at the pool stage and one on finals day. The Saxons also play two matches each season against teams from the other Six Nations countries (France, Scotland, Ireland, Italy and Wales), the games being played on the same weekends as Six Nations Championship matches. Since 2006, the Saxons' opponents in these games have been Ireland A and Italy A.

England Saxons 2008 squads

Martin Johnson named a 32 man saxons squad on 1st July 2008 :

Name Position Club
Nick Abendanon Fullback Bath Rugby
Anthony Allen Inside centre Gloucester Rugby
Matt Banahan Wing Bath Rugby
Mike Brown Fullback Harlequins
Danny Cipriani Fly-half London Wasps
Ben Foden Scrum-half Northampton Saints
Andy Goode Fly-half Brive Rugby
Paul Hodgson Scrum-half London Irish
Ryan Lamb Fly-half Gloucester Rugby
Ugo Monye Wing Harlequins
Topsy Ojo Wing London Irish
David Strettle Wing Harlequins
Mike Tindall Outside centre Gloucester Rugby
Dominic Waldouck Inside centre London Wasps
Richard Wigglesworth Scrum-half Sale Sharks

Name Position Club
Steffon Armitage Flanker London Irish
Richard Blaze Lock Leicester Tigers
Louis Deacon Lock Leicester Tigers
Nick Easter Number 8 Harlequins
Jack Forster Prop Gloucester Rugby
Tom Guest Flanker Harlequins
Jason Hobson Prop Bristol Rugby
Chris Jones Lock Sale Sharks
Ben Kay Lock Leicester Tigers
Michael Lipman Flanker Bath Rugby
David Paice Hooker London Irish
George Skivington Lock London Wasps
Andy Titterrell Hooker Gloucester Rugby
Joe Ward Hooker London Wasps
David Wilson Prop Newcastle Falcons
Nick Wood Prop Gloucester Rugby
Joe Worsley Flanker London Wasps


The following table shows the coaching staff for the 2008 'shadow' Six Nations.


External links

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Name Organisation Position
Steve Bates Newcastle Falcons Head Coach
Graham Rowntree RFU Coach
Simon Hardy RFU Coach