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Matt Proudfoot: 'England youngsters must be the best they can be'

Matt Proudfoot: 'England youngsters must be the best they can be'
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Eddie Jones' men face Tests against the United States and Canada at Twickenham next month.

England's new generation have been urged by forwards coach Matt Proudfoot to seize their opportunity to impress Eddie Jones.

Jones has selected 21 uncapped players in a provisional squad that this week began preparations for a summer series consisting of a second-string fixture against Scotland 'A' on June 27 and July Tests against the United States and Canada.

Many of them will be casualties when the squad is updated with arrivals from Saracens and Gallagher Premiership semi-finalists Bristol, Exeter, Sale and Harlequins.

Twickenham Stadium hosts Tests against the USA and Canada next month
Twickenham hosts Tests against the United States and Canada next month (David Davies/PA)

But, with 12 senior internationals about to tour South Africa with the British and Irish Lions, Proudfoot insists they now have the chance to stake their claim to England selection.

"Our message to the young players is to grow and to be as good as they can be and use this opportunity," Proudfoot said.

"They work so hard week in, week out at their clubs to perform and that performance gets them the opportunity in this environment.

"And then this environment creates the opportunity for them to grow and be the best they can be. The two environments work really well together.

Ellis Genge is England's most senior player with 28 caps
Ellis Genge is England's most senior player with 28 caps (David Davies/PA)

"So I try to impress upon them that this is an opportunity to be the best you can be. All the front rows have caught my eye so far.

"We've been watching the players right through the Premiership, so you almost feel as if you know them before you get here.

"You speak to their coaches, so you're champing at the bit to get the opportunity to work with them."

Ellis Genge, the fiery Leicester prop, is the most senior player in the squad with 28 caps, and Proudfoot believes he has a growing leadership role to play with England.

"It's created a new dynamic for him. To see the way he speaks and how he's passing on the lessons that he's learned... I've often said that's part of the growth of a player," Proudfoot said.

"I've been really impressed throughout the season how's he's led by example. Also his communication with referees, how he's tried to solve problems, particularly in the moment at scrum time. These are the things I pay special attention to.

"Now he's getting the opportunity to do it with a lot of younger guys and the way he's been doing it is good to see.

"We're using him in a leadership capacity now. We don't just want young players to grow, we want every player to grow and be the best they can be."

Uncapped Newcastle lock Sean Robinson has withdrawn from the squad after suffering a knee injury in training, with Bath's Josh McNally taking his place.

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England head coach Eddie Jones pictured during training on November 11, 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States19201352
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151238
Great BritainGreat Britain9101231
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events

· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right

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