Jones surprises many as England Rugby World Cup squad is announced


Certainly, one thing you can’t accuse England Coach Eddie Jones of, is being to predictable. On the day that Jones named his 31-man squad for the forthcoming World Cup in Japan, there was some surprise names announced.

Northampton flanker Lewis Ludlam and uncapped Bath wing Ruaridh McConnochie along with Gloucester scrum-half Willi Heinz earned shock call-ups to the squad, with a surprise omission of centre Ben Te’o. The Worcester Warriors centre was involved in an off-field incident with Harlequins Mike Brown at the training camp in Italy recently and it is thought that Jones, who is known to be very hot on discipline, felt that it would be wrong to include Te’o in the squad.

Aside from Te’o and Mike Brown, who also missed out, there was also no places for the likes of Dylan Hartley, Chris Robshaw, Danny Cipriani, Danny Care, Alex Goode, Dan Robson, Ben Spencer and Richard Wigglesworth who have all been overlooked.

Jones admitted that he has had to take risks in opting for an inexperienced 31-man squad.

Only two scrum-halves have been named, which Jones feels is a big gamble, with Heinz, who won his first cap on Sunday against Wales, getting the vote of confidence alongside the experienced Ben Youngs. The Australian Jones who is approaching his fourth World Cup campaign has named Owen Farrell as Captain, with a total number of 1,007 caps between the 31-man squad.

Joe Marler, who retired last year before reversing his decision, makes the cut alongside props Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler, Ellis Genge and veteran Dan Cole with 86 England appearances.

At lock Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Courtney Laws and Joe Launchbury are named, with Billy Vunipola the only recognised No 8. Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Mark Wilson and Ludlam are the flankers.

At hooker, Jamie George, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Jack Singleton have been selected.

England will continue their build up to the World Cup with three more warm up fixtures until they fly to Japan on September 8th before their opening match against Tonga on the 22nd September.

England World Cup Squad


Dan Cole (Leicester,86 caps), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter,12), Tom Curry (Sale,11), Ellis Genge (Leicester,10), Jamie George (Saracens,37), Maro Itoje (Saracens,27), George Kruis (Saracens,32), Joe Launchbury (Wasps,59), Courtney Laws (Northampton,72), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton, 1), Joe Marler (Harlequins,58), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins,22), Jack Singleton (Saracens,1), Sam Underhill (Bath,9), Billy Vunipola (Saracens,42), Mako Vunipola (Saracens,53), Mark Wilson(Newcastle/Sale,13).


Joe Cokanasiga (Bath,5), Elliot Daly (Saracens,31), Owen Farrell (Saracens,70), George Ford (Leicester,56), Piers Francis (Northampton,5), Will Heinz (Gloucester,1), Jonathan Joseph (Bath,41), Jonny May (Leicester,45), Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath,uncapped), Jack Nowell (Exeter,33), Henry Slade (Exeter,22), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester,33), Anthony Watson (Bath,34), Ben Youngs (Leicester,86).


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