England team manager Martin Johnson will name his squad to tour Argentina on May 18 after learning which of his players will be on Lions duty.
Harry Ellis, Riki Flutey, Lee Mears, Ugo Monye, Simon Shaw, Andrew Sheridan, Phil Vickery and Joe Worsley have been chosen to tour South Africa.
The shock omission of Tom Croft and Delon Armitage, plus Ian McGeechan’s decision to overlook Steve Borthwick, means England have their smallest representation on a Lions tour since 1977.
However, they will head into their two-Test series against Argentina with a stronger than expected squad.
Johnson said: “There will be some disappointed players who haven’t been chosen, including those from the England senior elite player squad but we now know who is available for the Barbarians match on May 30 and a very tough two-Test series against Argentina and I plan to announce the 2009 summer tour squad on May 18.”