Rugby World Cup 2019: England Squad for 1st Training Camp

Eddie Jones

England men’s head coach Eddie Jones has announced a squad of 29 players to attend England’s training camp at Pennyhill Park next week (23-27 June 2019).

Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby) and Val Rapava Ruskin (Gloucester Rugby) receive their first call up to an England senior men’s training squad.

The week is the first of two training camps, held at Pennyhill Park and the Lensbury (30 June-4 July), before the first official Rugby World Cup training camp begins on 7 July at the Lensbury.

Players attending the camp at Pennyhill Park will not have featured in the Gallagher Premiership semi-finals or final, outside of Ludlam and Rapava Ruskin. Both players and a small number involved in the Quilter Cup match against the Barbarians will be managed to ensure their post-season active rest periods are fulfilled in agreement with Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Players Association.

George Kruis (Saracens) and Mako Vunipola (Saracens) will be in camp for treatment.

Jones said: “The first two England training camps are designed to improve individual players’ fundamentals to allow them to compete for a place in the Rugby World Cup squad.”

England’s official Rugby World Cup training squad will be announced by Jones at Japan House on Thursday 4 July.

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 training squad

Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins)
Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints)
Val Rapava Ruskin (Gloucester Rugby)
Nick Schonert (Worcester Warriors)
Brad Shields (Wasps)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)

Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks)
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby)
Elliot Daly (Wasps)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby)
Dan Robson (Wasps)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins)
Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

*In for medical treatment
George Kruis (Saracens)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)

54 thoughts on “Rugby World Cup 2019: England Squad for 1st Training Camp

  1. I understand the need for warm up games, but 4 of them, and against such strong opposition? Italy aside (and this is no disrespect to the Italians, they will be a physical challenge for sure), 2 games of arguably one of the biggest rivalries in rugby in England -v- Wales (where a “friendly” is anything but) and Ireland, who are one of the tournament favourites, is asking for trouble.

    We already have 2 key players on the above injury list and they haven’t even booked the plane tickets yet.

    1. An alt, is NOT to play ANY warm up games. Cotton wool the squad. Then the danger is, they go into the WC undercooked. Besides England have plenty of cover players available. Obviously, if Jones had had a jot more nous, he might have intro’ed some of the now current squad intentionally & earlier. Then regularly rotated them. Thus potential injuries would have been minimalised. Additionally, to further answer the ‘asking for trouble’ concern, he might have included a few others like, oh, I don’t know, a couple of player o t Yr types perhaps & even an experienced former England No. 8 for instance. Can’t make an omlette without risking breaking 1or 2 eggs. It’s the same for every team.

    1. Yep, can’t see them featuring for England again. Lots of experience discarded.

      Back row has lots of competition, but I can’t see how Care isn’t in the top 3 available scrum-halves.

        1. Agreed. Care’s been in pretty good form, can’t say the same for Youngs. Same for Robshaw, I don’t know what Shields has done to supplant him other than be a Kiwi.

          1. Well, apart from Shields, Tui, Teo, Vinipolas x2 & Coka, are all, if not Kiwis, Antipodean & whom admittedly, only constitue c. a 1/3rd of a team, so yr point is?

            1. As stated, I don’t know what Shields has done to get in ahead of Robshaw as appears to be happening. He’s not been awful, not great, whereas Robshaw has had a consistently good year. Is it because Eddie sees something in players that have come from Kiwi Super Rugby teams that isn’t there (see Piers Francis)? I admit I saw nothing of Shields in his Super Rugby days but he wasn’t good enough for the ABs and on recent evidence I don’t think he should be there for England.

              I’m not really sure what you’re saying Don, but I would consider the Vunipolas. Tuilagi and Coka to be English. Ok, Mako might be Welsh! Teo’s another matter.

              1. Well, it seems there’s a downer on Shields. Don’t disagree that Robshaw shouldn’t be included. In fact, could’ve included both IMO. Been over this b4, but Shields captained the Canes. They won a SR title. Mugs tend not to be promoted in NZ. Took it that you implied SR types, were favoured by Jones, but there are already a SH handful in the England mix. Don’t know about Francis, who is English BTW, but he’s excluded now anyway. And if it’s only SR, then BS & PF make just 2. Then Jones has also favoured Farrell over Cip. Young’s over Care. Surely, it’s not just a SH/SR thing?

                1. Francis being English I think adds to my point (and stops it being a xenophobic rant). Francis has been shown to be lacking compared to guys like Devoto, yet he was parachuted in to take their place immediately purely, it seemed, because he was coming from SR.

                  Look at Willi Heinz on the other hand, an eligible Kiwi who has proved himself with several good years here. I’d have no issue with Shields if he’d had the same time to prove himself under his belt. Frankly, if he’d been very good in the time he’s had then of course he should be in the squad, but he hasn’t.

                  Mark Wilson is a given at this point. If Jack Willis hadn’t been injured, I think he might have taken Robshaw’s place but oh well.

                2. No reply button JK, but you’d really need to ask Jones about SR bias. Surely, isn’t Jones biased full stop? Why otherwise would Cipriani, Goode, Kvesic or Morgan hardly, or not even, get a look in? 2 SR inclusions is hardly indicative of a trend, esp with 1 having seemingly been temporary anyway.

        2. Didn’t you realise that you were conversing with the man himself, Mike Brown?! Er, the initials!?

          1. No, I’m a bit slow today Don. Temperature in the mid thirties, pool very inviting, white wine nicely chilled, a comfortable sun lounger and a good book. Difficult to think sensibly about rugby.

            1. When MB txted me re this topic, he stated that excuses don ‘t cut it with him! Temps, pools, plonk, & current bun, have as much cred as a Boris pledge. Also, he trusted that yr ‘good book’ is either The Bible, or The Rules of Rugby!

              1. It’s “Laws of rugby” but I was reading Bill Beaumont’ s autobiography. I will definitely lose sleep over my failure to take things seriously enough! Is Willi Heinz a Kiwi? I always thought he was a Saffer.

                1. Heinz is a Kiwi, yep. Came over from the Crusaders.

                  Don, I’m also lacking a reply button. Two doesn’t make a trend, I agree, but I’m struggling to think of others who have come over from SR, particularly Kiwi teams, and been eligible. Matt Symons is one that comes to mind who hasn’t had a look in under EJ.

                  Agree on Morgan et al. Although you could argue that Morgan has only really returned to form this year at the same time as Dombrandt breaking through and EJ’s going with the younger model, which I can see the sense in.

                  To immediately contradict myself, I’d rather he gave ‘older’ model Kvesic a chance over Ludlam.

                2. Roww! Depends on the source Andy. Either or situation, but surely R of R appeals more as alliteration? Maybe you’ll consider reading Ritchie’s autobio when you’ve finished Bill’s? Didn’t bring Heinz up, but he’s from Ch’ch. Happy learnings.

                3. JK mentioned Heinz Don. I was a PE teacher, not English, so alliteration doesn’t rock my boat. Already read “The Real McCaw.” Great player, great bloke. Not sure how much value one can place on a squad with half the best players missing but it is depressing that even in those circs EJ chooses not to look at so many talented players. The continued ommission of Cips and Goode is short sighted, and I am surprised to see Robson back with no rugby played for months.

  2. Just how do we view this squad?
    I’m guessing around 45-50 % will not be in the cut for Jpn so to my eyes this is just a last minute “what if” exercise on fast Ed’s part, which , if so, makes it a tad farcical. How many of these players will even get to the warm up games? Not too many I’m guessing.

    1. With the Prem finalists returning, you may well be right Acee. Greenwood reckoned that, as this is not a definitive squad, there will be some room for ‘outsiders’ to potentially force their way in to the, presumably ‘Narrower’, TS. Maybe so, but I wouldn’t bet on the need to count them on more than 1, perhaps 2, fingers?

    2. I can see at least 16 of this squad going to Japan.
      Cole, Curry, Genge, Launchbury, Shields, Sinckler, Underhill and Wilson in the forwards. Cokanasiga, Daly, Ford, May, Te’o, Tuilagi, Watson and Youngs in the backs.
      Of the others, Ashton, Joseph and Robson will be close , while one of Dunn or Singleton will likely be the 3rd choice hooker.
      What does that leave us?
      Smith is just a little too raw but the experience wont do him any harm.
      Ewels will possibly be 5th choice lock, so will be on standby in case of injury. Rapava-Ruskin (who is someone i’m very pleased to see get some recognition) and Schonert are going to be on standby too I imagine.
      Can’t see Brown making it, and I think McConnochie and Ludlam have little hope of being involved.
      This leaves Dombrandt, who I think has an outside chance of making his way in as Hughes has been omitted. Odds are he’ll be another on the standby list if Jones takes only 5 back rowers.
      So a sizeable portion of the squad will make the final training group announced next month.

        1. Gloc and Northampton players won’t be added until this week (apart from Rapava and Ludlam for some reason).
          Word is that Cips will be added, and definitely Lawes. Anyone else? Maybe Heinz

              1. Coming from, presumably, an Englander (not little I hope?) & taking cricket for a change of context, did you hear the ‘hot air’ emanating from their camp prior to night’s demise? Esp from Morgan & Archer, although not so much from their NZer, Stokes, but from those other 2 well known Anglo Saxons? You couldn’t make it up could you MB?

      1. Agreed steve. i posted my first comment in a bit of a rush and overlooked that there are quite a lot of established players in the group!

  3. Tried responding to yr last ‘no reply button’ post JK, but my punt got lost in the ‘ether’!

  4. What do you think of Agustin Pichot allegations?

    World Rugby boss sparks outrage at ‘foreign player’ list
    2018-11-22 08:49

    Agustin Pichot (Getty)

    Cape Town – World Rugby vice-chairperson Agustin Pichot has sparked outrage among the home nations by sharing a list of the top international teams and adding what percentage of their squads include players “not born in their countries”.

    According to the website, Pichot’s tweet, posted on Wednesday and featuring statistics for the top 11 rugby-playing nations, has led to calls for the former Argentina halfback to resign for “fanning the flames of xenophobia”.

    The 44-year-old’s post lists Scotland (46.3 percent) on top for having the most “foreign-born players” in their squad for the November Tests, while South Africa and Argentina are bottom (both with 0 percent).

    New Zealand is listed second from bottom with 12.5 percent, while Japan (37.1), Italy (29.7), Australia (29.4), England (27.7), Ireland (26.1), Wales (24.3), France (12.9) are ranked from second to eighth.

    According to Pichot’s list, England, Ireland and Wales all have approximately double the number of New Zealand’s players born overseas in their respective squads.

    Northern rugby scribes have traditionally criticised the All Blacks for pinching talent from the Pacific Islands, but last year it was shown that England had actually been the home of poaching in rugby since 2005.

    Only four of the initial 32-man All Blacks squad named for their current northern tour were born overseas: Nepo Laulala (Apia, Samoa), Ofa Tu’ungafasi (Nuku?alofa, Tonga), Vaea Fifita (Vava?u, Tonga) and Waisake Naholo (Sigatoka, Fiji).

    As for Pichot, his offending tweet caused quite the stir and the post had drawn close to 3 000 reactions by Thursday.

    Twitter users accused Pichot of “total xenophobia” and said he was talking nonsense.

    It’s not the first time Pichot has spoken out about the subject of players opting to represent a nation they were not born in.

    The Argentinian said rugby was “losing something” when former Hurricanes captain Brad Shields was first pictured in an England shirt in a photo posted by veteran New Zealand sports broadcaster Keith Quinn, who asked: “Is this a sad picture? I think so – what about you?”

    Pichot replied to Quinn: “Algo se esta perdiendo (‘something’s missing’ in English). We are losing something… the game is losing something…”

    Pichot, who made 71 appearances for Argentina from 1995-2008, was instrumental in having World Rugby extend the qualification period for players to switch countries from three to five years living in their new country.

  5. Haven’t read Pichot’s post. However if true & his stats don’t lie, then it merely emphasises a player drain which continues to undermine WR. Stated before, but unsurprisingly, this gains little traction with the benefitted. Some still think there’s nothing wrong with legions of rugby mercenaries earning a living by plying their trade abroad & that It’s ‘old fashioned’ to believe otherwise. Self interest & all that. Continually weakens the drained, but short-sightedly, it also suppresses the drainer’s home talent. Ironic that Pichot gets the xenophobic hair dryer, from a bunch of, er, xenophobes whom tribally & hypocritically, miss the greater point. That’s what I think.

  6. So let me get this straight
    If you want to see your country represented by mainly indigenous players then that means you are xenophobic but if you see nothing wrong with say 30% of your team having another ethnicity then you are poaching players and diluting the essence of international Rugby.
    Mmm, ok.
    1984, here we come…….

    1. Wanting is different from actuality Acee & It’s not to do with Geo Orwell. It’s about player drain imbalance to the NH. If reverse drain were the case, what reaction from up here then? England have had more than 100 players not from England whom have played for them. They’re currently 2nd highest on the import list of offshore players. This, when you know that NZ have been roundly accused in the not too distant of having ‘squadrons’ of PI’s within their ranks. The reality of course, is somewhat different. Try the S Times for having put this particular boot in. Doesn’t it seem a bit hypocritical that England are currently major instigators of this player drain imbalance in WR & which undermines the global game? Surely the xenophobia bit is whereby Pichot get verbals for pointing out this inconvenient truth?

      1. Correction. Hands up. Apologies. Miss-read it. England aren’t 2nd highest of offshore imports on Pichot’s list. They’re mid pack in fact, @ nr 28%. Nevertheless, if they keep this rate up, in 10 yrs time it may be hard to spot the Englishman. Fe, fi, fo, fum.

  7. Change the eligibility rules? Fine by me. The residential qualification is long overdue serious alteration. Ditch the grand parent ruling? Again, fine by me.
    But that will still leave a lot of people who have links to countries that they were not born in.
    As it stands, Shields was qualified for England due to his parents being English. What does Pichot suggest about his situation. Is he proposing to only allow people to play for the country they were born in?
    And what about the UK situation, where it is not uncommon for people to be born in one country (England for instance) and have parents who are from another country (Scotland say).
    What about people who move to another country as a child and whose rugby development is down to that country alone. Can they only play for the country of their birth?
    That the current position needs properly addressing is perfectly fair. The 3 year residency qualification should be scrapped for a start. But overall this issue is very complicated.

      1. FYI:
        I am English
        I was born in SA
        My parents are English but my mother was born in Kenya.
        I didn’t play rugby until I came to the UK (I know it’s surprising)

        1. What’ll be surprising in yr case then Mike L, is, if you’re NOT named in Eddie’s next, inclusive WC squad! Congrats in advance.

    1. You’ll need to ask Pichot about Shields Steve. However, marginally modifying eligibility rules won’t alter player drain, which IS the issue. Making the residency rule a decade might be a more effective deterrent for instance, as may parental immigration, although his may be manipulated or abused too. For e.g. did the Vunipolas’ parents expressly immigrate here, or did their father just come to play rugger & then simply stay on? Either way, there was precious little flack up here about the ‘v’ bros playing for England, but plenty about NZ’s alleged ‘rape of the Pacific’. Hence my hypocracy comment. Appreciate this issue ain’t an easy situation, but it’s bit more important the onion rings I think. Nart mean Acee?

  8. My thoughts exactly Steve, hence my ref to Mr Orwell. It’s far from a black and white issue as Don seems to think. More layers than the average onion!
    What next DNA testing? It all seems a bit Aryan to me.

    1. Er, ‘exactly’ what’s yr emotive Orwell comment got to do with it Acee? I never stated this issue was uncomplicated. Yr DNA comment was unconstructive. However, you still miss the point with all this minutiae about elegibility. It’s funderndntslly about player drain undermining world rugby. You need to objectively re-read my pervious.

  9. Hardly an emotive comment Don, more an observation about how hard this would be to enforce. For the record, I would prefer the England team to be a little less reliant on “SH” players tbh but we are where we are. I’m not sure Pichot particularly gives a stuff about SH players either to be honest. I see this as someone looking for a pot to stir without really thinking it through. You seem particularly aggrieved at my contribution. I don’t understand why.

    1. You can’t know that what Pichot states is merely opinion Acee. And if yr Orwell’s ‘1984’ comment isn’t emotive with its dictatorial connotations, what is it? You don’t just observe, but also imply that Pichot is being dictatorial with his comments. Otherwise, why would you use this expression. Additionally, yr ‘stir the pot, comment can only be speculative. If I appear aggrieved, it’s because this player drain issue is too important globally to be trivialised by such subjectivity. Part of the trouble is that the recipients of player drain tend to condone it out of self interest or lack of foresight. The next Lions’ SA tour, for instance, may be endangered by its being rendered pointless & The Lions’ future meaningless & therefore further threatened, if SA is unable to call on its 300 exiles to play in the series. It’s been mentioned that player drain also ultimately undermines, by suppressing, the recipient nations’ home talent. Currently France seem to be trying to address this issue & which is reflected in their WC squad. However, as The T14 is riddled with imports, whom keep out local players, it raises the ? as to whether this squad is not already weakened due to the T14’s limiting effect of producing relatively inexperienced players for this national side. The effect will also be & is being, experienced by other HN teams. It’s just that people don’t notice or care yet, but I venture that they will in due course. Hence my stance. Perhaps you better understand my position on Pichot’s views now Acee?

  10. Instead of focusing on the poison that is the NH the SH could help themselves and focus on getting their ship in order as opposed to blaming the thriving club game in the NH for player drain etc etc.

    For all this talk of a better quality of rugby played in the SH, it doesn’t seem to attract the fans (and therefore the money to pay the players).

    Also, the respective unions in the SH chose to make players that move overseas in-eligible for national selection. Perhaps reversing this decision would reduce the impact of player drain.

    I am all in for an overhaul of the eligibility rules and players playing for the country they grew up supporting as opposed to the one with the largest cheque book – cross hairs firmly aimed at the RFU in that comment.

    1. SJ, words like ‘poison’ in yr comment are are emotive, rendering it somewhat subjective & defensive. Also, precisely what does yr comment; ‘.. getting their ship in order’, mean? Yr apparently ‘thriving club game’ is doing so, in part, to a/yr ‘I’m alright Jack’, blinkered take on factual player drain Nth. How many Prem clubs DON’T contain SH players. How many pay their way? Without benefactors to prop them up, some may not be so ‘thriving’. Are you unaware that Sarries for e.g., were £1m in debt last yr. Wasps are struggling financially following their Covenrty ground saviour move. Sustainable financial modes? And these issues coinciding with the RFU’s overspending & layoffs, which can only have deminished monetary infusion into yr ‘thriving’ game. You may need to reassess this term. It’s not JUST ‘talk’. SR HAS won the last 3 WC’s. As for attracting fans, perhaps this something to do with TV rights, sponsorship. NH’s bigger pop’s, funnily enough, = more dosh? Regarding overseas ineligibility for AB selection, it’s previously been pointed out to me here that it’s the same England. The reality is of course, NZ have done & do give their internationals leeway from playing in the country, as per Carter’s & currently Retallick’s, overseas sojourns, McCaw’s sabbatical. However, these are elastoplasts, not solutions to the continued weakening of SH rugby by NH market forces. These, as also mentioned before, have the corrosive effect by suppressing home players within yr game. This incidentally, is already reflected in yr national squad which contains the 2nd biggest influx of offshore players. However, @ least yr last para seems to contain some element of vision & foresight SJ.

  11. “It has been something of a crusade for Pichot who voiced his concerns over the subject when he was elevated to the vice-chairman role of the sport’s governing body in 2016.
    “When you have players who haven’t lived in the country that they represent, it’s not great,” Pichot said at the time.
    “I think it is very important to keep the identity of our national teams. As a cultural thing, as an inspiration to new kids, I think having on your team players who have not lived [for long] in the country they are [representing] I think it’s not right.
    “When I see the national anthem and people not singing it, it confuses me a little bit.”End qoute
    So what is really missing here? In my opinion there are a number of factors at play here, some push others pull.They are often defined as:Push factors are those associated with the area of origin.Pull factors are those that are associated with the area of destination.
    So here are some of my thoughts on this complex and controversial subject.
    In South Africa we have seen a decline in the Rand exchange rates to all major currencies of its major trading partners. In June 1985 during the height of Apartheid the British Pound to South African Rand 2.56. It is trading at 18.17 today. We have seen a steady increase in the crime rate .Murders increased from 7000 to as high as 21 000 per anum. This coupled with the now notorious quota system is pushing players at an alarming rate to better paying jobs overseas taking the limited career of rugby players into account.
    It causes however havoc in our local teams as it is extremely difficult to replace experienced players . The Lions bridesmaids at three occasions were hardest hit, losing more than 10 players i e 2 out 3 starting players. This is reflected in the dismal performance of our Super rugby teams and it is only the second time since 2003 that South Africa has not a team in at least the semis.
    Higher paying jobs and selection on merit and perhaps lesser crime certainly must be an attractive proposition for local players. That the influx of foreign players raises the standard of European clubs is often reflected in their results.
    Is there an inherent danger. In my opinion yes. England soccer leagues rank among the best in the world , but that is not reflected in their world cup appearances often ending in the early departure of the English national team.
    Let us hope that this is eventually not the fate of England’s national rugby team, because the influx of foreign players somehow hampered the development and progress of local talent.

  12. Interesting Frans. Also less emotive than some, myself included @ times. Basically market forces (& crime in SA’s case?) pull (or you state ‘push’) players o’seas. Loyalty, esteem ‘pull’ factors induce players to stay @ home? By & large, current 1st line AB’s tend to stay, moving on once nr sell by looms. However, if the present drain continues, then the balance of WR will tip, like climate change, unless also checked, over a tipping point. Trouble is, self interest & lack of future vision tend to make for these trends continuing. If the England national team also continues with its policy of absorbing offshore players & is weakened as as a result, I can’t much share yr sympathy. NZ, as already previously stated elsewhere, have endured plenty criticism for allegedly pursuing this policy, so we’ll have to see how things play out & whether Pichot’s views garner support for his concerns.

  13. Don, square you obvious indignation about the denuding of the SH player base, particularly by big bad England (again), with your rush to defend Brad Shields from all the negativity that England fans felt when he was fast tracked into our set up.

    1. Just read my last comment Acee. Besides it’s no skin off my nose about Shields, but there seems undue & subjective comment from ‘the big bad English’ (defensive or what? I’m not the only 1 it would seem) regarding Shields, like ‘if he’s not good enough for the AB’s, he’s not good enough for England’. Well, actually maybe he is. Eddie seems to think so. And as one other, now departed, E punter put it; ‘In Eddie we trust’! Anyway, as the ‘bbE’ are 2nd top of Pichot’s poaching list, perhaps they’re not quite as white as their jerseys? Facts don’t lie.

      1. OIOW, I don’t square Shields’ presence in the E set up in principle. It’s manipulation for perceived personal gain. However, that he IS actually there, I ? the validity of so much flak he’s received, that’s all. You’re mixing up 2 separate issues Acee.

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