Owen Farrell's omission from England's training squad for the Six Nations means friend and team-mate Jamie George is the new skipper.

Farrell ,the former Harpenden St George's pupil and Harpenden RFC junior, had said he would not be making himself available for selection for the famous competition back in November, saying he would be spending more time with the family.

And with head coach Steve Borthwick needing a new man to lead the 36-strong squad, he has turned to Welwyn Garden City-born George.

The team boss said: "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."

The 33-year-old hooker, who has just signed a new two-year deal with Saracens, 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 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."

Borthwick has chosen seven uncapped players in the squad as they start preparations for the opening game of the tournament, away to Italy on February 3.

Other ex-pupils of St George's School, Maro Itoje and George Ford, as is ex-Nicholas Breakspear pupil, and Verulamians and Old Albanian junior, Nick Isiekwe.

One player not selected is Max Malins, the former Felsted pupil, who spent a couple of years with OAs.

England have home games with Wales on February 9 and Ireland on March 9 while they travel to Scotland on February 24 and France for the final game on March 16.

England’s 36-player training squad.

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)

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)