England Training Squad for Rugby World Cup 2019

Eddie Jones

England men’s head coach Eddie Jones has named his official Rugby World Cup 2019 training squad.

35 players will assemble at The Lensbury Hotel on Sunday (7 July) for England’s first official training camp.

Premiership finalists Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Jamie George (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Spencer (Saracens), Billy Vunipola (Saracens) and Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs) return to the England setup following their off-season.

Joe Marler (Harlequins) is named after making himself available for selection. The 29 year-old prop retired from international rugby in last September having played 59 Tests for England.

Jones has included four uncapped players in the group. Gloucester Rugby’s halfback and captain Willi Heinz is joined by former England U20 forward Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), former England Sevens player and Olympic silver medallist Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby) and Saracens’ new signing Jack Singleton.

While not named in the initial 35-man squad, George Kruis (Saracens), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) and Mako Vunipola (Saracens) will continue their rehabilitation in camp and are still considered for selection.

Jones said: “We can’t wait to have the full squad in place and to have players competing for those 31 places. 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.”

On his selection decisions Jones said: “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. For those guys who have missed out, the door is never closed but they have just got to be ready, as you never know when the opportunity comes.”

Following two weeks of England training camps, Jones added: “The last two camps have been a head start for us. It has allowed the guys who didn’t play in the semi-finals or final to get some good conditioning work in and also some fundamental skill work so we expect them to set a high standard when the rest of the squad join us on July 7.

“The players have come in the best physical condition I have ever seen an England squad. The attitude of the players is that they are excited and hungry, they want to do well for themselves, their family and for their country.”

On Marler’s decision to come out of international retirement, Jones added: “I saw Joe during the Barbarians’ week and he indicated that he had a desire to come back. We have since had a couple of chats and we have given him the opportunity to do that. Now it is up to him to show us what he has got.”

With England’s first official training camp starting on Sunday Jones said: “For the fans it is the start of the journey so we want you to be with us; we are all in this together. We are looking forward to seeing your support.”

England will play Wales (11 August) and Ireland (24 August) at Twickenham Stadium and Italy (6 September) in Newcastle as part of the Quilter Internationals as well as an away fixture against Wales (17 August) in Cardiff.

England will travel to Treviso, Italy for a heat camp from 22 July until 2 August before returning to Italy on 28 August until 5 September. The squad will also be based in Bristol for a week in July (14-18) and in August (12-16) ahead of England’s away match against Wales. For the two matches against Wales and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium, the squad will train at Pennyhill Park.

England will begin their Rugby World Cup campaign in Japan against Tonga in Sapporo (22 September, KO 11:15am UK time) before playing USA Rugby in Kobe (26 September, KO 11:45am UK time), Argentina in Tokyo (5 October, KO 09:00am UK time) and France in Yokohama (12 October, KO 09:15am UK time).

England’s official Rugby World Cup 2019 training squad

Forwards
Dan 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)

Backs
Danny 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 rehabilitation
George Kruis (Saracens, 32 caps)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 33 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 53 caps)

54 thoughts on “England Training Squad for Rugby World Cup 2019

  1. No place for Mike Brown, Alex Dombrandt, Dan Robson, Marcus Smith, Ollie Thorley, all of whom have been involved in the first two camps.

    Cipriani and Marler are in though!




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    1. Hutch, did you see my last post below about being unable to respond to Mike L’s blog? Any reason for my being unable to respond to it??




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      1. I’ll have a look and see why it was filtered. The spam filter looks for words and symbols often used in spam comments – lots of question marks and abbreviations might not help.




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  2. Disappointed about Robson, I’d have him in over Ben Spencer, when did he run Eddie Jones’ dog over?

    This being said Willi Heinz has had a great season for Gloucester, Marcus, Alex and Ollies time will come and Mad Dog I am torn over.

    Good to see Marler back and Cips in, happily see Francis dropped for a fit Nowell.




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    1. I think Robson isn’t being considered owing to the blood clot problems he had a little while ago. Perhaps they don’t want to risk him yet. The omission of Devoto in favour of Francis/Teo is a head-scratcher.




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    2. Maybe it wasn’t Eddie’s hound that was run over, but rather KD’s father’s mutt. Reason being is that I once saw graffiti painted on a wall in Camden which stated; ‘Ken Dodd’s Dad’s dog’s dead’. Assuming Ed was a pal of KD, hence Robson’s omission!?




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  3. England’s strongest match day 23 is:

    1 Mako VUNIPOLA
    2 Jamie GEORGE
    3 Kyle SINCKLER
    4 Maro ITOJE
    5 George KRUIS
    6 Mark WILSON
    7 Tom CURRY
    8 Billy VUNIPOLA
    9 Ben YOUNGS
    10 Owen FARRELL
    11 Jonny MAY
    12 Manu TUILAGI
    13 Henry SLADE
    14 Anthony WATSON
    15 Elliot DALY

    16 Luke COWAN-DICKIE
    17 Joe MARLER / Ellis GENGE
    18 Dan COLE
    19 Courtney LAWES
    20 Sam UNDERHILL
    21 Ben SPENCER
    22 George FORD
    23 Jack NOWELL / Joe COKANASIGA




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        1. A kick in Yonngs’ head may jolt him into not mindlessly kicking it all away, as per Scotland & Wales, but doubt whether one up the backside, or even in the head, will speed his service up.




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    1. Could argue a case for the fwd pack alright as it seems a potential WC starting 8. However, the back line seems another matter. I suppose Farrell will have to & will be, in for his goal kicking, if not his temperament & rigidity (v Scotland, Wales). Likewise Youngs, with the latter & his passing in treacle technique. Also, if Watson is in, he’s a better bet @ f/back as there are incumbent wings in place (injury permitting). Of course Goode or Brown likely won’t agree with this. Also this leaves Daly out of position @ wing (in place of Watson), when he’s really a centre & ought to oust Tui. 1 of the other 1/2’s (obviously not the exp’ed, quicker & more versatile Care), is likely a better bet too, as IMO, is Cipriani a more accomished fly1/2 than Farrell. Of course none of these options is likely to happen under Jones, but surely England have better options & combo’s available?




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      1. I think part of the problem is that some of the better options have not been selected!! I can think of at least four centres I’ve seen play consistently better than Tuilaig, Francis and T’eo this season.




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  4. Assuming Wilson is the back up 8. Really surprised Morgan didn’t get a chance instead of Ludlam, tbh I would have had Dombrandt ahead of Ludlam. Not a clue why Francis is there and Heinz has come from nowhere ahead of players that have been in numerous camps. Normal EJ squad.




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    1. Agree here. Even just to give BM a chance in the camp, he’s been class for Glos this year. I’m guessing Ludlam is in for exp but still a strnage choice.




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  5. I feel sorry for George Ford. People berate his defence but he is a gutsy sod for his size. It’s literally just the power to weight ratio that lets him down. Watch him, he never backs away from a tackle. His kicking from hand is insane and pass timing is utterly sublime and, dare I say it, better than a certain Mr. Cipriani’s. Not a popular opinion, but Ford has guts, and that counts for something in my eyes. Ok his place kicking isn’t great, but he wouldn’t be the first fly half to relinquish kicking duties to say, a full back.




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    1. I have been consistent in my comments on George Ford for many years. Behind a winning pack, he is a magician. Behind a retreating pack he is anonymous. Cipriani can produce magic hands in either scenario. However all FHs do look better behind a good pack. Having had a good look at Cips this season, he is a far gutsier player than I ever thought he was, so not convinced there is much difference there. Ultimately Ford will go to the world cup because of his chemistry with Farrell. Cips will be on standby if either get injured, so from that point of view relieved that he is in the training camp to learn the set up.




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      1. Makes sense. Not sure that Tommy Cooper would quite agree with the Ford ‘magician’ comment, though. Jones, according to Jones, may take 3 fly1/2’s. If so, Cip should be on the plane (although I somehow doubt this), or he could take 3 1/2’s, in which case, it’s service as usual. However, not to have P o t Yr included, is perverse. But that’s Ed’s middle name. Mind you, Goode must be pretty pissed off on this count too.




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      2. I would argue that Cips was equally as anonymous in the prem semi-final, behind a pack that spent all day in reverse. Though this is maybe a tad harsh considering how well Saracens were playing.
        England should take all 3 if not just for rotational purposes. Give them all a chance in the group stages and then go from there (if we get through -_-)




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  6. So,Big Joe done a volte face after all,which is great news, especially if Mako fails to make the deadline.
    Ben moon i very good and Genge could be a loose head Sinckler but Marler just has the experience, heft and class that we need. OTOH as Don p would say, how the hell has Francis got in ahead of say, lozowski? I think ditching MB is a huge error too.




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      1. Yep, it’s mental. Nothing against Francis though, it’s not his fault EJ does these things.

        Hutchinson looks destined for Scotland.




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    1. I agree re MB.Just hope AW gets 15 ahead of Daley.Equally agree re Francis. Biggest weakness is at 9 .If BY is our no 1 we have a problem.DC unlucky-can often be better than Ben




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  7. I can’t see how Francis has made it but Lozowski, who is (in my opinion) a much better all round and more versatile player is not even considered!?!?

    Can anyone explain to me why Francis is in? Unless he saved Eddie’s dog from some serious injury????




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  8. I just think we are really light in attritional positions, BV injury record over the last few years means that Wilson is going to have to play games at 8 to rest him and i think he is our best 6. Why not take another out and out 8 like Morgan to share the pool stages with BV and provide cover later if injured?




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  9. I was just looking at the squad again and there is a real lack of depth at 6 and 8; assuming this means a lock is playing/covering 6. If i assume Ludlam and Ewels get cut, then we have 4 locks, 2 x 7’s , 1x 6 and 1 x 8. It just seems strange.




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    1. Jones said on TV last night that he’ll (likely?) take a utility fwd (& back for that matter). Maybe the most unpopular choice in England, Shields, will be included as 6, line out option? Covers for Wilson, who covers for BV? I would personally have also picked Morgan.. but been there before.. also Kvesic, Armand & so on! Jones as rigid as the other May? Of course.




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      1. Jones also stated that he hasn’t ruled everyone’s 2nd least favourite player, Hartley, out yet. If Hartley is fit & does go to the WC, will it be as captain? If not, then who will be? Likely Farrell. If this happens, then will Hartley go anyway? If he does go, will he feature & in what capacity? Co-captain?




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      2. The phrase utility forward makes me shudder. it’s short hand for compromise. we don’t need to compromise Ed. We need one of ; Kvesic, Ewers, Morgan, Clifford,Dombrandt or AN other.




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        1. RUBBISH!

          No one wants players chosen solely for their utility. But, looking at positions only, how do you make up a 31 man squad if none of your players are utility players?
          What we would like:
          9 Front row
          4 Locks
          7 back row (with a five two bench split this gives you two extra over 3 positions – whoops utility required)
          5 half backs
          4 centres
          6 back three
          Total of 35 players

          What you are likely to get:
          9 Front row
          4 Locks
          6 back row (with a five two bench split this gives you two extra over 3 positions)
          5 half backs
          3 centres
          4 back three

          There is almost no flexibility in this if none of your players can play in more than one position. The same applies for a match day 23. Most of the best teams have players who can play in multiple positions. Ideally they are first choice in one position, but that can’t always be the case. Think Kaino. First choice 6 also able to play 8 or lock if needed.

          Utility players are an absolute necessity in a WC squad. We can only hope they would be in contention even without their utility.




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  10. Not sure if it’s already been mentioned or covered, but is Care injured? I don’t understand the continuing omission.




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  11. Ludlam and Heinz retention are the obvious surprises. There are better back rowers available though I suspect Ludlam wont make the final cut. Heinz has every chance of making the final squad, assuming Jones takes 3 SH’s. Quite what he has over Care and Robson isn’t entirely clear. At 32 he is hardly a selection with the future in mind so he’s there to do a short term job as 3rd choice.
    Marler coming back is a terrific boost. The rest of the front 5 pick themselves.
    I would have gone with Devoto ahead of both Francis and Lozowski, but this is a very close call as is the retention of McConnochie over Thorley, and Singleton over Dunn.
    Regarding the utility players, I imagine Itoje will be asked to cover lock and 6, while Nowell is the perfect choice for the backs so fingers crossed he’s going to be fit. Pity that we dont have a prop who can play both sides (though in fairness that is now very rare in the pro game) as this would free up a front row slot.




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  12. The success or otherwise of this team hinge on three players being injury free for the whole tournament. Mako, Billy and Maro turn a decent pack into one with can do real damage. Mako and Billy provide heavy duty ball carriers which does serious damage to the defences. Maro is a big match player who makes stuff happen, even though he plays right on the edge. Take these three out of the side and we are just there to make up the numbers.




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    1. Something of an exaggeration innit Mark? Are you stating that if England had had MV & Itoje in their 6N teams v Wales & Scotland, they’d have won these games? England still had plenty power in these matches, but surely threw threw it away v Wales by kicking it away from a winning position? Likewise v Scotland, England’s defence went AWOL after 1/2time. Additionally, Itoje gives away pens & yellows for fun. Also, doesn’t MV’s & BV’s ball carrying prowess makes them somewhat predictable & 1 dimensional. Especially with a WC cominging up!




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      1. Don, whilst I might agree that Billy can be slightly one dimensional, I would say that Mako is the least one dimensional prop out there. He is frequently seen doing the dirty work and running the yards of a back rower. Maro plays on the edge and can sometimes spill over. But he is a real nuisance to the opposition, and can steal lineouts for fun.
        I’m not saying England would have won those matches if all three had been fit, but it certainly would have made the games easier for the rest of the team.




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        1. Quite possibly Dazza. I basically ?ed Mark’s contention that England’s WC success depends on those 3 Musketeers, that’s all. IMO, with smarter rugby, England could have won the 2 aforementioned games, with or without 1 of those 3 whom did play in them. Any team can sustain casualties during the WC, therefore to be over reliant on individuals invites a fall I think. England have plenty of choices for their final squad & therefore they must trust their systems & players whom may have to slot into these when necessary. Mind you, I’d have chosen somewhat differently from EJ’s likely 31, but it will be what it will be. Thus, just as NZ had to cope when they lost 3 fly 1/2’s in 2011, England may also need to cope similarly come Japan.




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          1. Spot on Don!! No team should have to rely on certain players, but most teams will have three or four who help to lift the rest with their actions on the field.
            I would definitely have made some different choices than EJ has. There are plenty of players who could have added more (IMO) than some of the names on his list.




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  13. Spot on Dazza!! Agree ‘most teams will have three or four (-?) who help to lift the rest with their actions on the field’. Perhaps England have a few up front, but in the backs, in pivot roles, I’m less sure. Farrell maybe, with his goals, but, IMO, the team will need some dominance to enable this. The wide men could do likewise, but only with enough ball. That’s why I think they ought to have have Cipriani & Daly featuring more prominently within their back line, incl midfield. Probably a couple of experienced back rowers would help too, but already dipped into this well before. Time’ll tell.




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  14. You guys have the ability to discuss and thrash out who you would like to see in the England team. As a Saffer living in SA we do not have that privilege. The government has made a decision that a certain number of blacks, regardless of capability, must be in the team. Some deserve their places, must be selected, some are token selections, we have little chance of winning the cup, not this year, not in the future with most of our ‘Boks playing in Europe and more and more being selected to play for their adopted countries.




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    1. Unfortunately P Metter, WR under Gosper do little to stop player drain. The recipients of offshore players remain silent as it’s perceived as advantageous to them. Of course it also actually suppresses local talent. NZ S Rugby is to lose 50 following the WC, so sympathise. If yr economy could be run upwards instead of downwards, SA could invest in facilities, infrastructure to naturally encourage sufficient young (whatever their colour) players into the game. Hopefully, this would obviate the (certainly short term) need to have ‘positive’ discrimination’.




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  15. Dear TRB. Tried a number of times to respond to Mike L’s post, both directly, in his ‘Reply’ box & ‘indirectly’ in the seperate ‘Reply’ box @ the bottom of the post list. Also tried just using his initials instead of his moniker. None worked! What’s occurring? PS No swear words, defamation or undue character assination involved in my humble.




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    1. Er, still waiting.. patiently TRB. This in part so I can circumvent future articles from also being ‘lost’. Therefore heeelp please!




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