By Mitch Phillips
LONDON (Reuters) – Prop Joe Marler has been included in England’s Rugby World Cup training squad having himself available following his international retirement last September, while flyhalf Danny Cipriani has also survived the latest cull.
Coach Eddie Jones included four uncapped players in the 35-man group – Willi Heinz, Lewis Ludlam, Ruaridh McConnochie and Jack Singleton.Among the notable absentees are experienced Harlequins trio Danny Care, Chris Robshaw and Mike Brown.
The latest squad included players from Premiership finalists Saracens and Exeter, with another three of those – George Kruis, Jack Nowell and Mako Vunipola – not included while they continue their recovery from injury.
“We can’t wait to have the full squad in place and to have players competing for those 31 places,” Jones said. “It is a process of building the team up, building the cohesion, the tactical understanding of the team and our adaptability. We will need to get those things right to win the World Cup, and that is our aim.
“World Cup selection is a four-year process. We have looked at the squad carefully, tried to build up a squad that has enough experience, attitude and energy to be winners and I think we have that. In the process, we have left out some players who can feel unlucky.”
England will play four warm-up games – home and away to Wales and home games against Ireland and Italy before the World Cup in Japan in September.
England training squad ForwardsDan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 85 caps)Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 11 caps)Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 10 caps)Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 10 caps)Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 9 caps)Jamie George (Saracens, 37 caps)Maro Itoje (Saracens, 27 caps)Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 58 caps)Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 71 caps)Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, uncapped)Joe Marler (Harlequins, 59 caps)Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs, 8 caps)Brad Shields (Wasps, 8 caps)Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 22 caps)Jack Singleton (Saracens, uncapped)Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby 9 caps)Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 41 caps)Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 17 caps)Mark Wilson (Sale Sharks, 13 caps)BacksDanny Cipriani (Gloucester Rugby, 16 caps)Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 4 caps)Elliot Daly (Saracens, 30 caps)Owen Farrell (Saracens, 70 caps)George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 55 caps)Piers Francis (Northampton Saints, 4 caps)Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 40 caps)Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 45 caps)Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby, uncapped)Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 22 caps)Ben Spencer (Saracens, 3 caps)Ben Te’o (unattached, 18 caps)Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 32 caps)Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 33 caps)Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 85 caps)In camp for rehabilitationGeorge Kruis (Saracens, 32 caps)Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 33 caps)Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 53 caps)
(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Ed Osmond)