England Squad for Rugby World cup 2023 announced

The experienced centre Henry Slade has been left out of England’s Rugby World Cup squad by Steve Borthwick.

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Despite playing in 30 of England’s 37 internationals since the 2019 tournament, Slade finds himself left out with Joe Marchant favoured at outside center.

With both Tom Pearson and Tom Willis squeezed out of the back row, debutant hooker Theo Dan, who earned his first cap against Wales, is an eye-catching inclusion in the front row.

Tournament : 8 September to 28 October 2023 
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With Alex Dombrandt, who has started every England test this year, omitted alongside the younger Willis brother, Borthwick is left without specialist number eight back-up for Billy Vunipola, who is still working his way back from a knee issue and has not yet played for England.

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Ben Earl and Lewis Ludlam are preferred back rowers, while Jack Willis, Tom Curry, and vice-captain Courtney Lawes round out the back row options.

Jonny May of Gloucester is another veteran back who didn’t make the cut, while Mako Vunipola is absent after failing to recover from a back injury.

Ahead of their World Cup campaign, England face Argentina in Marseille on 9 September, as well as Japan, Chile, and Samoa in Pool D.

“Rugby World Cups involve unique challenges in terms of the demands on players, the need for squad flexibility and the limited number of squad places available,” said Borthwick.

“France 2023 is no different, but I am confident we have selected a squad of 33 that is well able to meet those challenges and leave us best placed to be at our most competitive in this exciting tournament.

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“There have been a number of very difficult selection decisions to make, given the quality of our wider training squad. Some very good players have missed out on selection such has been the competition for places over the last eight weeks and more of preparation.

“As Saturday’s game in Cardiff proved, we have a series of demanding Test matches through August as we continue that preparation towards our opening Rugby World Cup pool game against an in-form Argentina side.”

In the absence of Mako Vunipola, Bevan Rodd joins Ellis Genge and Joe Marler at loosehead prop. Will Stuart, Kyle Sinckler and Dan Cole make the cut at tighthead. Jamie George and Jack Walker, who had also been doubtful, are chosen at hooker.

Among the specialists are Maro Itoje, Ollie Chessum, George Martin, and David Ribbans, with Lawes also offering second row coverage.

At fly-half, Borthwick has plenty of depth with Ben Youngs, Danny Care, and Jack van Poortvliet, as well as Owen Farrell, George Ford, and Marcus Smith.

At some point during the tournament, Farrell is likely to feature at 12 in playmaking partnership with Ford, along with Marchant, Ollie Lawrence, and Manu Tuilagi.

As well as Elliot Daly, the Saracens back may also be considered at outside centre. Anthony Watson, Freddie Steward, Max Malins and Freddie Steward complete Borthwick’s 33.

The Three Lions have three more games left before the World Cup begins, with Saturday’s loss to Wales their fourth since Borthwick took over ahead of this year’s Six Nations.

Twickenham will host Warren Gatland’s side on Saturday, followed by a trip to Dublin to meet Ireland and a home match against Fiji.

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During the warm-up matches, Borthwick said he may, if necessary, utilize some of those left out of his squad, as his predecessor Eddie Jones did four years ago.

England’s official 2023 Rugby World Cup squad

Forwards (19)

Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 9 caps)

Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 100 caps)***

Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 45 caps)*

Theo Dan (Saracens, 1 cap)

Ben Earl (Saracens, 15 caps)

Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 49 caps)*

Jamie George (Saracens, 77 caps)**

Maro Itoje (Saracens, 67 caps)*

Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 97 caps)***

Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 20 caps)*

Joe Marler (Harlequins, 79 caps)**

George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)

David Ribbans (Toulon, 6 caps)

Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 3 caps)

Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 62 caps)*

Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 26 caps)

Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 68 caps) **

Jack Walker (Harlequins, 3 caps)

Jack Willis (Toulouse, 10 caps)

Backs (14)

Henry Arundell (Racing 92, 7 caps)

Danny Care (Harlequins, 88 caps)*

Elliot Daly (Saracens, 57 caps)*

Owen Farrell (Saracens, 106 caps)**

George Ford (Sale Sharks, 82 caps)**

Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 11 caps)

Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 19 caps)

Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 16 caps)

Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 22 caps)

Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 23 caps)

Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 51 caps)**

Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 13 caps)

Anthony Watson (unattached, 55 caps)**

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