EXETER Chiefs trio Ethan Roots, Immanuel Feyi-Waboso and Henry Slade have been named in England's 36-man Six Nations Championship training squad.

Back rower Roots and winger Feyi-Waboso get a first call-up to the squad, while centre Slade returns having missed out on selection for the 2023 World Cup in the autumn.

It is deserved recognition from England head coach Steve Borthwick for the trio, who have all played a major part in Exeter's fine first half of the season in both the Premiership and Europe.

Slade has been in arguably the form of his life in the past few months after overcoming the disappointment of missing out on the World Cup in France.

Cardiff-born Feyi-Waboso has opted for England rather than Wales, as he qualifies for both countires.

And 24-year-old New Zealand-born Roots, who joined the Chiefs from the Ospreys during the summer, has made one previous appearance for the Maori All Blacks.

Jamie George is named as the new England captain. The Saracens hooker becomes the 135th player to be appointed England captain since Frederick Stokes first led an England side in 1871, and he succeeds Owen Farrell, who is taking a break from international rugby.  

Feyi-Waboso and Roots are two of seven uncapped players in the squad, joining Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins), Oscar Beard (Harlequins), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks) and Fin Smith (Northampton Saints).

There is also a place for fit-again Cornish-born former Exeter Chiefs hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie, who now plays for Sale Sharks.  

The squad of 36 players – which is made up of 20 forwards and 16 backs – will assemble at the Honda England Rugby Performance Centre, Pennyhill Park next Tuesday before flying to Girona to begin their preparations for the Guinness Men's Six Nations Championship. 

“Building on the foundations of what the England Team achieved in the Rugby World Cup, I have selected a squad that provides strong continuity and experience, whilst at the same time providing an opportunity to develop the talent of a number of new and less experienced players,” said Borthwick.  

“I would particularly like to congratulate the new faces who have their first chance in an England squad, and very much look forward to seeing how that young talent can play an important part in ensuring that England continue to develop our game and move forward.   

“The Six Nations is a tremendously entertaining and hugely competitive competition. This year will be no different, and as we prepare for the challenge which awaits us against Italy in Rome, this squad will come together next week for a training camp in Girona.”

On naming George as captain, Borthwick added: "When I asked Jamie to be captain for this forthcoming series, I could sense his excitement and pride at being asked to lead his country. I am delighted that he has accepted the role.

  “Jamie has been a respected leader in this group for a number of years now. With 85 England caps to his name, he is a quietly influential character who has an excellent tactical understanding and who sets high standards, whilst building strong relationships with the people around him. This, together with his previous experiences of captaining Saracens and The British & Irish Lions, leave him well-placed to lead the team.”  

George said: "Last week Steve asked me to be captain for the upcoming Six Nations and I accepted with huge gratitude and enthusiasm.   

“I love playing rugby for England. I hope that everyone has seen how much it means to me, I have never shied away from that. I am so excited about where this team can go and bringing the fans on that journey with us is something that I care about deeply.    

“I believe I’m at the stage of my career where I can give my all to the captaincy and give my best on the pitch.   

“I don’t underestimate the challenge ahead. Owen (Farrell) is a fantastic motivator and tactician, and we will undoubtedly miss his leadership. But I have got brilliant people around me, many of whom have won major tournaments, and utilising the great experience we have within the group is going to be crucial.  

“The squad is in a great place to build off some really strong performances at the Rugby World Cup and I look forward to getting started and welcoming some new faces to camp.”

England's campaign begins on Saturday, February 3, against Italy at Stadio Olimpico in Rome (2.15pm).

Following the Italy clash, they host Wales at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday, February 9 (4.45pm).

  England then travel to Edinburgh to take on Scotland at BT Murrayfield on Saturday, February 24 (4.45pm), before returning to West London to face Ireland on Saturday, March 9 (4.45pm).

  England’s final game of the Championship sees them take on France on Saturday, March 16 (8pm) at the Groupama Stadium, Lyon.

Forwards: Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 18 caps), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 107 caps) Alex Coles (Northampton Saints, 3 caps) Luke Cowan-Dickie (Sale Sharks, 41 caps) Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins, uncapped) Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, 5 caps) Theo Dan (Saracens, 7 caps) Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 15 caps) Ben Earl (Saracens, 25 caps) Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 58 caps)  Jamie George (Saracens, 85 caps) – captain Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 7 caps) Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, 11 caps) Maro Itoje (Saracens, 76 caps) Joe Marler (Harlequins, 88 caps) Beno Obano (Bath Rugby, 3 caps) Tom Pearson (Northampton Saints, 1 cap) Ethan Roots (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped) Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 33 caps) Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 30 caps)

Backs: Oscar Beard (Harlequins, uncapped) Danny Care (Harlequins, 96 caps) Elliot Daly (Saracens, 64 caps) Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, uncapped) Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped) George Ford (Sale Sharks, 91 caps) Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, 3 caps) George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 6 caps) Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 21 caps) Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 11 caps) Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks, uncapped)  Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 57 caps) Fin Smith (Northampton Saints, uncapped) Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 30 caps) Ben Spencer (Bath Rugby, 4 caps) Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 31 caps).