By Ryan Moran
- Rugby League convert Sam Burgess chosen in centre over Luther Burrell.
- Danny Cipriani misses out to George Ford and Owen Farrell.
- England in Pool A for Rugby World Cup with Wales.
LONDON, UK – As England’s preparations before the World Cup draw to a close, the 31 man squad has been revealed, with perhaps some surprises.
A total of 38 players were used over the two ties with France with all trying to make a case for selection. Big exclusions include Danny Cipriani at fly half and Luther Burrell missing out at centre.
After putting in a stand out performance in the second half of the loss to France, Cipriani lost out to Owen Farrell and George Ford at fly half. Even though England lost 25-20, Cipriani was one of the stand out substitutions who helped National side edge France 10-14 in the second half. Over the two games; the fly half, who can also play at full back, managed one try over the two France games. In comparison Ford, who only appeared in the 19-14 win at Twickenham, managed two conversions and two penalties whereas Farrell kicked two conversions appearing in the first game only.
The other surprise player to be left out was Burrell in centre. He has been a regular for Stuart Lancaster’s side in recent years only for Sam Burgess to move from Rugby League and book his own place at centre for the World Cup. The centre was given 63 minutes over the two ties with Les Bleus to stake his claim. On the other hand, Burgess only made his National Rugby Union debut against France this August and a notable performance at that being a major figure at Twickenham. Henry Slade takes his place as one of four centres also alongside Brad Barritt and Jonathan Joseph.
Kieran Brookes claimed his place as prop in the 31 man squad over Alex Corbisiero, who only appeared for 16 minutes over 160 minutes of August’s match preparations. After recovering from a broken leg, Ben Morgan’s 40 minutes was enough to prove his worth to selectors in the back row. Lock Dave Attwood impressed in the second half in France, unfortunately George Kruis made the squad instead.
The whole 31 man squad is as shown below:
Hookers: Jamie George, Rob Webber, Tom Youngs.
Props: Kieran Brookes, Dan Cole, Joe Marler, Mako Vunipola, David Wilson.
Second rows: George Kruis, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Geoff Parling.
Back rows: James Haskell, Ben Morgan, Chris Robshaw (captain), Billy Vunipola, Tom Wood.
Scrum-halves: Danny Care, Richard Wigglesworth, Ben Youngs.
Fly-halves: Owen Farrell, George Ford.
Centres: Brad Barritt, Sam Burgess, Jonathan Joseph, Henry Slade.
Back three: Mike Brown, Alex Goode, Jonny May, Jack Nowell, Anthony Watson.
The World Cup kicks off on Friday 18th September when England face Fiji at Twickenham.