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Nine uncapped players in England Rugby Squad

England have named nine uncapped players in their squad for this year's Six Nations tournament, including Saracens back Owen Farrell, son of coach Andy.

Also included in the 32-man squad are Ben Morgan, Calum Clark, Phil Dowson, Lee Dixon, Brad Barritt, Joe Marler, Jordan Turner-Hall and Rob Webber.

This is interim coach Stuart Lancaster's first squad announcement of course, with Mike Tindall, Mark Cueto, Nick Easter, Shontayne Hape and Riki Flutey amongst the more experienced players to be left out.

Discussing the decisions made, Lancaster said: "We've picked a side which is exciting, talented and committed to get us back to where we want to be - at the top of the game."

"I've spoken to those not selected and told them the door is not closed."

"But I want to use this Six Nations as an opportunity to develop the next players in those positions and develop a leadership group that is strong and wants to be the best."

"We think it's a tremendous opportunity to build a squad that has potential for now and for the future."

"We trust the players we have selected - a lot have been involved for a while and have been to the World Cup."

"They have been on the cusp of it for a while. Now they deserve their chance after proving themselves in big games for their clubs."

The squad selection has left many wondering who might be captain, with Tom Wood and Chris Robshaw the most likely candidates.

However, Lancaster has challenged a number of players to make their case.

On this subject, he said: "The most important thing is to get the leadership group right. We need to develop a new group of leaders. From there, natural leaders will emerge."

It is certainly set to be a transational period for English rugby and having won the Six Nations last year, it will be interesting to see how they perform this time around.

The opening match for Lancaster's young squad is a tough trip to Scotland on the 4th February, followed by a trip to Italy a week later.

His first match as coach on home soil comes against Wales on the 25th Feburary. It certainly promises to be an interesting time for English rugby.

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Early Six Nations Betting

It may well be a couple of months before the 2012 Six Nations get underway, but the rugby betting odds are already being studied with regards to who is going to come out on top.

It is always a competitive contest when England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France and Italy do battle across a few weeks of Rugby Union and 2012 will be no different.

All of these teams will want to improve on their World Cup campaigns too. They will want a response to the first tournament following events in South Africa and this should make the Six Nations all the more entertaining.

England in particular have some rebuilding work to do. They have a new coach, younger players and a reputation to improve. 

One of the new coaching staff, Andy Farrell, is confident that England can have a positive tournament though.

He said: "Nobody gets a cap if they aren't ready. We've got to make sure the balance of the team is right."

"It's a fresh start for everyone with some exciting players to choose from. It's a feast for us at the minute. We've just got to get it right. You can't have 15 individuals out there on the field."

As for head coach Stuart Lancaster said: "From my point of view my focus is on tomorrow and actually getting the thoughts of the other guys [coaches], getting the team together and planning the January camp."

"It is absolutely crucial in terms of turning round and improving the culture. The World Cup was unfortunate in some ways and we need to make sure the focus is on getting ready for Scotland."

As for the rugby betting odds for the 2012 Six Nations, France are the favourites to come out on top at 7/4 with Skybet. Then, Wales are 9/4 with Betfred, while England are 3/1 with StanJames.

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