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England 16/1 to win Test series against New Zealand after Steve Borthwick names summer squad

Steve Borthwick has confirmed his 36-man England squad for their summer tour of Japan and New Zealand which offers a great opportunity for players to impress ahead of the 2025 Six Nations.

With six uncapped players making the cut and plenty of experienced faces making the trip, Borthwick will be looking to get the blend of emerging talent and senior figures right ahead of the Tests against the Brave Blossoms and the All Blacks.

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England cross paths with Jones in Tokyo

England will come up against a familiar figure in former head coach Eddie Jones when they make the trip to Tokyo to take on Japan.

Jones was sacked back in December 2022 after some disappointing Six Nations campaigns and Borthwick was the man to step into what many believe to still be the biggest job in rugby.

While the Borthwick against Jones dialogue will rumble on in the background, the clash against the Brave Blossoms at the Japan National Stadium offers a great opportunity for England to test out some fresh faces.

Fin Baxter, Gabriel Oghre, Joe Carpenter, Luke Northmore, Tom Roebuck and Ollie Sleightholme are the six uncapped players who will be hoping for a chance to wear the red rose for the first time in this opening Test.

Saints' success sees seven selected

Sleightholme is one of seven Northampton Saints to have been called up to the England squad following their Premiership Grand Final success against Bath last weekend.

Saints winger Sleightholme, son of former England winger Jon, has been knocking on the door for international selection for some time.

The 24-year-old finished as the Premiership’s top tryscorer last season with 14, while he was also an important figure in helping Northampton reach the semi-finals of the European Champions Cup.

It really was an impressive season for Saints and the half-back pairing of Alex Mitchell and Fin Smith undoubtedly deserve their places in the squad.

With Danny Care and Owen Farrell no longer involved with England, Mitchell and Smith will be looking to make the No.9 and No.10 jerseys their own.

All Blacks on home soil the ultimate test

After playing Japan, England head down to New Zealand for a two-Test series against the All Blacks.

England are available at 16/1 to win the series, with the Kiwis at 2/5 and a draw at 9/4.

The first Test against the All Blacks takes place on 6th July (08:05 BST kick-off), with England at 4/1 to win the opener at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

England are available at 10/11 to fall on the right side of the +12.5 handicap on offer in Dunedin.

From the South Island, Borthwick’s squad then head to the North Island for the second and final showdown with New Zealand at Eden Park on 13th July (08:05 BST kick-off).

Facing the All Blacks in that formidable Auckland venue is as tough as it gets and it’s the sort of game where a certain Owen Farrell would come in handy.

Making the move to Racing 92 this summer, Farrell is no longer available for selection and his absence will be sorely missed.

A player who shone in New Zealand in the last British & Irish Lions tour there in 2017, the likes of Marcus Smith and Fin Smith will need to step up and try to fill the void left by Farrell.

Other senior players such as skipper Jamie George, Maro Itoje and Tom Curry will also need to lead from the front against a formidable New Zealand side.

England still seem to be in a transitional phase, with the likes of Farrell, Care, Courtney Lawes and others no longer in the set-up.

Borthwick will be hoping this summer’s tour provides more answers than questions, as England look to try and narrow the gap on the likes of Ireland and France in the Six Nations in 2025.

England are 4/1 to win the 2025 Six Nations, with reigning champions Ireland at 21/20 and France 23/10.

England squad

Forwards: Fin Baxter (Harlequins), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Alex Coles (Northampton Saints), Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Theo Dan (Saracens), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Ben Earl (Saracens), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Jamie George (Saracens), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Marler (Harlequins), George Martin (Leicester Tigers), Gabriel Oghre (Bristol Bears), Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks), Ethan Roots (Exeter Chiefs), Will Stuart (Bath Rugby), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby).

Backs: Joe Carpenter (Sale Sharks), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter Chiefs), Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints), George Furbank (Northampton Saints), Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby), Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints), Luke Northmore (Harlequins), Harry Randall (Bristol Bears), Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints), Fin Smith (Northampton Saints), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Ben Spencer (Bath Rugby), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers).

Any odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.

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