England centre Luther Burrell has earned a call-up to Eddie Jones' travelling party for next month's tour of Australia after acing a successful audition against Wales on Sunday (29 May).
The 28-year-old Northampton Saints stalwart started alongside Jonathan Joseph at 12 and proved his quality by scoring the hosts' first try that helped them to overturn an early deficit and seal a morale-boosting 27-13 victory in the Old Wealth Mutual Cup clash at Twickenham.
It was a triumphant return to the international fold for Burrell, who was previously a regular under former head coach Stuart Lancaster before failing to make the final cut for the 2015 World Cup on home soil. He did not merit a recall for the Six Nations Grand Slam success earlier this year, either, although did briefly link-up with England's training squad as a replacement for Exeter-bound Ollie Devoto prior to the 21-10 defeat of Ireland in February.
"It's a great opportunity for Luther who I thought played really well on Sunday," Jones said."He carried the ball well, defended with aggression and scored an excellent try. We want players who are desperate to play for their country and are willing to make the sacrifices needed to succeed at the highest level.
"Luther's worked hard at his game since January and we've seen a significant improvement to his fitness and conditioning as a result. He thoroughly deserves his place on the tour. It was a tough selection call. Ollie Devoto has really impressed during his recent time in the England camp. We wish him a successful tour to South Africa with the Saxons."
Burrell replaces Manu Tuilagi after the latter was forced to withdraw from contention due to a hamstring injury suffered during the first half of Leicester's 44-17 Aviva Premiership semi-final defeat to reigning champions Saracens earlier this month. That was the latest in a long line of injury blows for the powerful Samoan-born centre, whose 16-minute cameo against Wales in March was his first appearance for his country since the summer of 2014.
England's three-Test tour of Australia begins at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on 11 June before moving on to Melbourne and culminating in Sydney two weeks later. Starting fly-half George Ford has come under increased scrutiny before the trip down under after missing six of his seven kicks at goal against Wales. The Bath 10 was booed by certain sections of the crowd following an extremely disappointing performance from the tee, but Jones subsequently defended the player and described such criticism as "quite amazing" and "just shows the negative reaction in English rugby" while calling for a sense of perspective.