Your England Rugby World Cup Team.

The votes are in and ahead of the warm up matches in August against Wales and Ireland, this is your chosen side for the World Cup. Whilst the votes have shown who’s leading the race for selection, they have also highlighted who you believe will be not on the plane to New Zealand and are set to be left behind.

1. Andrew Sheridan (61%, 184 votes)
2. Dylan Hartley (88%, 265 votes)
3. Dan Cole (58%, 175 votes)
4. Courtney Lawes (89%, 268 votes)
5. Tom Palmer (76%, 231 votes)
6. Tom Croft (79%, 241 votes)
7. Lewis Moody (56%, 172 votes)
8. Nick Easter (59%, 181 votes)
9. Ben Youngs (72%, 223 votes)
10. Toby Flood (64%, 201 votes)
11. Mark Cueto (48%, 145 votes)
12. Mike Tindall (54%, 166 votes)
13. Manu Tuilagi (58%, 177 votes)
14. Chris Ashton (96%, 287 votes)
15. Ben Foden (96%, 298 votes)

The results have produced a side similar to the one England fielded in the last Six Nations match against Ireland, bar the return of Lewis Moody at openside, and presumably as captain, as well as the emergence of Manu Tuilagi as one of the favourites for the centre spots. Tuilagi other recently qualified teammate at Leicester, Thomas Waldrom, finished sixth only notching up 14% of the vote with 42 votes, nearly 70 fewer than the man above him in the rankings James Haskell.

The Northampton quartet of Ben Foden, Chris Ashton, Courtney Lawes and Dylan Hartley were the most popular players according to the statistics, with all of them convincingly winning their respective positions over many other players, except Ben Foden whose only competition was Delon Armitage.

Players who were close to selection included the resurgent Matt Stevens, who with 57% of the vote was only just pipped to being one of the starting props by 1% to Dan Cole. Riki Flutey also won a considerable share of the vote in the centres with 130 votes, which is either sign of people’s confidence in his ability or desperation at the lack of strong options in midfield.

On those who looked likely to miss out, the worst score for any player was shared between David Wilson and George Chuter, who both only managed to receive 2% of their respective votes, with just five people backing both of them. Joe Worsley (4%), Richard Wigglesworth (3%), Hendre Fourie (6%), Chris Robshaw (7%) and Charlie Hodgson (5%) also look set to be staying home, whilst Mouritz Botha according to the vote was beaten to the 4th spot in the Second Row by Simon Shaw, by just 6 votes.

Ugo Monye and Charlie Sharples both finished bottom of the votes for the wingers on 9% each, suggesting they both won’t be heading to New Zealand either. Intriguingly, James Simpson-Daniel received the third highest number of votes for the wingers with 22% and 65 votes, meaning that the forgotten man of English Rugby could be heading to his first World Cup. (At the time of going to press it cannot be ruled out that Hutch has somehow made this miracle happen with some fixing of the voting system.)

What are your thoughts on the winning side? Do you believe that team could succeed at the World Cup? Let us know.

38 thoughts on “Your England Rugby World Cup Team.

  1. A nice little article but I’m pretty sure it’s Johno who will pick the squad not the public! Would make for an interesting World cup if all teams were selected by public vote though. Personally I’d love to see Croft move to 8 ahead of Easter. Crofts explosion and pace would do a lot of damage off the base ahead of Easter the plodder! I’m also amazed anyone considers Tindall an international player anymore. Just goes to re-enforce the lack of quality centres available at the moment. Although we may be flush with them in a few years (Twelvetrees, Trinder, Farrell, Day etc). Let’s just hope Flood and Youngs find some form in the warm up games!

  2. I’m somewhat torn.

    Because initially i look at that team and go, no, it’s not a world-class side. A very useful side, yes. But not world-class.

    However then i think back to 2007, then look at our current crop, and think well if we made the final back then, we can do it again as we have a much better team this time round.

    So we’ll have to wait and see. At the end of the day, any one of us, NZ, SA and AUS can win it.

  3. I can’t see Jonno straying too much from the 6 Nations team he fielded. I think he will initially use Tuilagi off the bench, meaning it is likely he will start with Hape at 12 and TIndall at 13. There is also the possibility of Flutey slotting in at 12. I think most positions are almost set in stone but the one centre spot is certainly all to play for in the warm-up games.

  4. Would be interesting to see who we would select for the bench then. I’m guessing it would look something like this?

    16. Thompson
    17. Stevens
    18. Corbs
    19. Shaw
    20. Haskell
    21. Care
    22. Wilkinson
    23. JSD

  5. I don’t 2007 was so much about the talent but more about inspirational players such as Dallagio taking control and influencing things. You could argue that with Johnson as figure head you have a similar presence but I’m not sure it will work like that. And I think that is the major issue with the World Cup there are realistically barring some big upsets only 5 teams that can win it. It the game ever going to be a truly global spectacle if it is such a limited scope of teams who can win it?

    1. Well there are only 4 people that win tennis tournaments at the mo and people still watch them so there is hope

  6. It all looks OK until ones eyes catch at 12. Mike Tindall and then 13. Manu Tuilagi as the centres combo.
    One is an ancient player who was good at the 2003 edition the World Cup, but is now way past his best, and the other is an experienced hot head.
    JOC, AAC, Nonu, Smith, Williams, Fruen, De Villiers, BOD etc will have a field day.
    England’s weakness is the midfield and everyone knows it.

    1. Sorry, second para in above comment should read “an inexperenced hothead”.


  7. I agree with all of the above, re: poor choice of midfield for the 2011 team. Wilko is reliable, a good tackler, comfortably a better than most of the centres we have lined up. Any one else think it’s worth a try putting him at 12 outside Flood – at least for one of the August warm-up games?

    1. Absolutely. But we’re a minority i think mate. I think that would completely change the look of our England team and turn it into a world-class back line. Others aren’t so sure and maintain he’s a 10 and only a 10.

  8. I reckon Wilkinson at 12 is a good call but who’s the back-up fly-half in you’re playing both him and Flood?


  9. Well, Wilkinson himself i suppose. If Flood gets injured, Wilkinson moves to 10, Flutey/Hape on at 12. Or hodgson is decent, of Flutey can cover 10 too.

  10. when i see that team i feel quietly optimistic, there seems to be balance, perhaps not as much experiance as one would like, but we have some true talent, our back three are world beaters! Personally i think Stevens should start ahead of Sheridan.

    1. chris – are you saying that cueto is a world beater?hes a steady eddy!
      agree that stevens should start ahead of sheri who seems to never quite dominate a scrum / loose

      1. Cueto still has it, although he is the weakest out of the three. He is on a streak of good form, and i believe his place on the squad is well waranted. This world cup is perhaps his last chance of glory in his international career.

  11. Ah Cueto – the best non-try scoring wing in the world!

    Depsite his steadiness, i’d prefer to see someone who can actually tear a defense open – JSD for example

    1. Granted, he did have a bit of drought as far as trys are concerned, but he has other roles, he can cover full back, his defense is solid, he can punt, and although he may not actually score tries he has set up a fair few, and on his day he can beat most people- remember the autumn internationals against Austrailia.

      Although there is a part of me that feels like JSD hasnt had the attention or opportunities that he deserves.

    2. Im with you Paolo re Cueto except MJ (and i agree) wont play JSD because he lacks defense.

      I really like sharples , not only his speed but his kicking game. and all round footballer and athelete. not really seen his defence tested but he looks wiry and strong in a foden way.

      monye is another option who is getting his form back.

      My gut feel is that cueto will have to play himself out of the team, before MJ changes his mind on him.

  12. My Team would be….

    1. Andrew Sheridan
    2. Dylan Hartley
    3. Dan Cole
    4. Courtney Lawes
    5. Tom Palmer
    6. Tom Croft
    7. Lewis Moody (c)
    8. Nick Easter

    9. Danny Care
    10. Toby Flood
    11. David Strettle
    12. Mike Tindall
    13. Mark Cueto
    14. Chris Ashton
    15. Ben Foden

    16. Steve Thompson
    17. Matt Stevens
    18. Simon Shaw
    19. Chris Robshaw
    20. Ben Youngs
    21. Jonny Wilkinson
    22. James Simpson Daniel

  13. Blumbus, I’m intrigued as to why you have two centres who can’t catch and pass! Tindall has always had awful distribution and Cuetos is poor too.

    On the note of England’s back 3 being world class I would agree they attack well, but I think there are some serious question marks about their defence against good sides and their tactical kicking game is not existent! SA and Ireland showed England up for being a one trick attaking side! If your pack is under pressure and you are receiving slow ball you can’t run and beat an organised, pressuring defence. You have to have more up your sleeve and I think this is where Flood struggles and the back 3 are woful. If you think back to when Enland were the no.1 side in the world it was because they could vary the attack and Wilkinson had the best tactical kickin game in the world. Much the same as DC does now.

    1. I have them in there mainly because I think it’d be a bit mean if we kept them in the squad all this time and then dump them just before the world cup (also Johnson didn’t give me a huge talent pool in that area to work with).
      I thought Manu’s ban should of been longer and thus he shuldn’t be availble for selection which is why I didn’t put him there. I thought my back three were quite good defensivly, (Strettle is part of the league’s best defense for example). Also I actually rate flood quite highly and I think if he didn’t have to dive to catch every pass (which is why i’ve promoted Danny Care) he’d play really well.
      Admittedly it’s not a side I see seriously contending to be world champions, but then again I don’t think I could compile any England team (even including allen and clarke) to be contenders at the moment.

      1. Also I’m pretty sure I could of done alot worse

        1. Tim Payne
        2. Lee Mears
        3. David Wilson
        4. Louis Deacon
        5. Nick Easter
        6. Joe Woersly
        7. Hendre Fourie
        8. James Haskell

        9. Richard Wigglesworth
        10. Riki Flutey
        11. Matt Banahan
        12. Shontayne Hape
        13. Mike Tindall
        14. Joe Simpson
        15. Ugo Monye

        16. George Chuter
        17. Paul Doran Jones
        18. Mouritz Botha
        19. Thomas Waldrom
        20. Ben Youngs
        21. Charlie Hodgson
        22. Delon Armitage

  14. Yup, you certainly did do worse with that one

    Had forgotten about Strettle. He has the attacking ability that Johnson should be looking for – he certianly has an eye for a gap and for the try-line

    although not sure if his defense isn’t worse than JSDs

  15. It was Chris’s comment about our back 3 being world beaters I was referring to Blumbus not you choosing Strettle. I like Strettle and think he can offer a lot.

    I think in a round about way we are all making the point that England has some good players but they are perhaps only slightly better than average on the Workd stage.

    How many would you class as World class or would be competiting to get in a World XV? I’d say Ashton only and I don’t think I’d class him as a world class allrounder yet. Compare that to NZ’s 6/7, Australia’s 5/6, South Africa’s 5/6 and even Ireland’s 2/3.

    1. I would say that Lawes, Ashton, Foden, maybe Croft, and on a good day Youngs, all would have reasons for why they would be included in a world fifteen. Admittedly these players would have to fight in order to get a place, but they all have a certain class and talent to them that most people wouldn’t scoff at.

      1. Agreed Chris. Would also say that Hartley, Cole, Stevens, Wood and Palmer are on the verge of being in the same place

  16. I have to disagree guys. Think about who is in contention  ahead of them: 

    And this is only naming a few I can think of off the top of my head

    Foden – Muliania and Beale
    Lawes – Botha, Williams and Thorne
    Hartley – Bismark du plessis, Servat, Smit and Mealamu
    Cole – The Beast, Gethin Jenkins, the franks and Woodcock
    Stevens – as above
    Wood – Pocock, Elsom, Ferris, Heaslip, Peresai , Dusautoir, Harinordoquy, and McCaw
    Youngs – Genia, Weepu, Phillips

    I’m not saying England doesn’t have good players but the vast majority are young and unproven on the real international stage. I hope they all develop into real world class players but I’m not convinced when comparing them with what’s out there now that they are up to the mark just yet. 

    Also worth thinking about, Clive Woodward stated the 2003 side only had 6 World Class players in. Kind of puts things in comparison!

  17. Paolo, that’s crazy! We are already the most disliked/hated side in the world and I really can’t see this helping the cause! I am gonna get so much stick from my kiwi mates because of this. Well done the RFU.

    1. Agreed, this decision is a blunder. What was wrong with the former away kit which was used in the autumn internationals, i quite liked it?

  18. Point taken Phil, but there’s a few on your alternatives that I’d personally put below their England equivalent – Du Plessis, Mealamu, the Beast, Elsom (past it), Philips for example

    Still, it shows that the English guys are close, if not quite there

    As for Woodward that quotation always struck me as him trying to big up his role in the victory – I’d have said 11 minimum (Robinson, Greenwood, Dawson, Wilkinson, Dalliaglio, Hill, Back, Johnson, Woodcock, Thompson and Vickery)

  19. I completely agree. How there were only 6 i dont know. Id say your 11 is spot on. Would you add Lewsey to that list as well?

  20. Anyone else remember NZ having an all White change strip back in the 90’s? I think I still have it in a cupboard somewhere. Don’t remember England making a fuss about it! It will only be worn for one game anyway. None of the teams England could face have a similar kit. Unless they play Fiji which is unlikely.

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