RWC 2019 Warm-ups: England Squad to Play Wales

Owen Farrell

England men’s head coach Eddie Jones has called up 33 players to assemble today at Pennyhill Park ahead of England’s first Quilter International against Wales on Sunday 11 August at Twickenham Stadium KO 2pm, live on Sky Sports.

With no new players added to the squad following England’s 12-day training camp in Treviso, Italy, Mike Brown (Harlequins), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Ben Spencer (Saracens) and Ben Te’o (unattached) are not included in this week’s squad.

In addition, Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) will continue his rehabilitation in camp.

Jones said: “We have worked hard and now move into a four-game preparation phase where the development of the team tactically is paramount. We are grateful for the strong opposition to test our game fitness.

“By the time we fly out on the 8th of September we will be ready to win the Rugby World Cup. We are not there yet but we have four games to get ready.

“Players excluded from being involved in this camp are naturally disappointed but may get another opportunity so they must be ready.”

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 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 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)
George Kruis (Saracens, 32 caps)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 58 caps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 71 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Joe Marler (Harlequins, 59 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 22 caps)
Jack Singleton (Saracens, uncapped)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 41 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 53 caps)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 17 caps)
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons / Sale Sharks, 13 caps)

Backs
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)
Joe Marchant (Harlequins, uncapped)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 45 caps)
Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 22 caps)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 32 caps)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 33 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 85 caps)

For rehabilitation
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 33 caps)

50 thoughts on “RWC 2019 Warm-ups: England Squad to Play Wales

  1. Given that the 31-man RWC squad is due to be named on Monday, you would think this is the end for Brown, Dombrandt, Spencer and Te’o. Two more to be cut from this squad I suppose.

    1. That or at least 1 if not all of these 4 have done enough the EJ will will definitely take them on Monday and the others have 1 game as a last chance saloon? although im really just playing devils advocate here.

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      1. I would like to think you are correct Alex, as I would rather see Spencer in the final 31 man squad than Heinz!! No offence to Heinz but Specner is one for the future, whilst Heinz is already 32, and not the quickest scrum half around the pitch compared to Spencer and Robson.

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  2. Please dear god no not Piers Francis!

    Let’s all be honest, show of hands, at this point in time who though Willi Heinz was going to be our number 2 scrum half at The World Cup at the turn of the year?

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    1. With you here, cant see how Francis can possibly be being considered… especially as he plays similar positions to cirpriani…

      surprised Heinz comes in ahead of Spencer… i liked the idea of the Saracens 8-10 as the axis that has done Saracens so well

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        1. Don P I am just saying his selection has come from nowhere and I don’t think, rightly or wrongly, anyone would’ve included him.

          1. I was actually agreeing with you Mr B. Amongst all the hands up whom did’t think Heinz would be included, must have been Heinz’s hand as well! I think that makes sense.

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    2. Why Francis!? Honestly I feel a massive bout of swearing coming on. Why not Spencer?
      No idea why Ben Morgan isn’t in the squad. Oh wait, it’s Eddie doing the selecting. Enough said.

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        1. I was actually going to make a snide joke to that effect Don but refrained! He is a source of huge mirth for the other rugby nations that’s for sure!

          1. Well, he’s got a decent core of players Bolter, but he’s seemingly oblivious to everyone else’s views, like D Trump. He just seems to have a blind spot to alternatives, especially in key positions. Saw an article recently which opined that he requires people to agree with him. Hence Farrell, Ford are included & Cip is excluded. The later, when asked to execute a certain ploy, tends to ask why. Gets on Eddie’s tits. Sees questioning as a subversive threat. Likewise with many notables in history. Ok, if you’re a perpetual winner. Otherwise they can end up as feather dusters.

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    1. Ludlam keeping the shirt warm for Brad Shields who is fighting to be fit for WC? Think EJ will only take 2 hookers so see Singleton vs LCD as a straight fight with one not to make the plan.

      would also be very surprised if mcconochie went… so in conclusion think Ludlow holding spot for Shields but will go if else … then think mc and Singleton likely to miss out. question is how the hell is Francis in there!

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      1. I´d have Yeandle in front of C-D and Singleton anyway Alex. No idea why Youngs or Heinz are in front of Care or Spencer in the pecking order, or why Francis is even in the Saints team. Hope he has a late change of heart re Shields and picks Morgan, Kvesic or Dombrandt, all of whom had better domestic seasons than Shields did. Will he really take 5 second rows and six props to the WC? Only if he regards Itoje and Lawes as cover for 6 I think.

    2. Considering that 1/2 the pack were only picked due to injury, perhaps there are a few more than some.

  3. Ewels, Ludlam, Singleton, Francis, McConnochie under fire? I’d have thought Heinz too, but..? And as Francis plays outside Ford at Leicester, who knows? Pointless in trying to understand Jones’ ‘logic’, but England better hope their 2 fullbacks can catch better than Brown. Also, as Hartley seems out of contention, leaves Farrell as likely captain. Mmm? And if he gets crocked? Mmm? Cipriani.. & Launchbury? Probably not.

      1. Indeed ML. Wires xxed. Francis plays outside Biggar @ N’thampton, who is unlikely to make the final England 31 cut. Maybe I should leave Wetherspoons?!

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    1. Good player at club level don, I thought this WC might be one to soon for him. With no experience at international this will be a big step up… shall see!

      1. Mmm. Just don’t see Jones taking a punt Alex. Seems to have got absorbed into the environment, rather than enhancing, or significantly improving it!?

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      2. I think that the difference between club level and international is the ability that certain players have to look as if they have time in pressured situations Alex. I think that Marchant has this, and would be confident he could step up. I would certainly prefer him to Joseph, even though I think Joseph is a good player.

  4. I give up. Even if we should win the WC ( unlikely but you never know), I would still want Jones to bugger off and take his wealth of experience with him tbh.
    No lozowski but Francis makes the warm up squad? That just seems like a massive two fingers to Cipriani imo.
    Pass the brandy!!

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      1. I wouldn’t do that for Eddie Jones Don!
        Who knows, we could all be wrong and he may have a grand master plan that will blow the opposition away. Or not.

          1. I think he is more likely to accept a sinecure with a large pension in the Southern Hemisphere having buggered up our chances Don!

  5. He was obviously dislikes Cipriani. Is he religious? Definitely lacking imagination this Unimaginative Jonas!

  6. I’m going to play Devil’s advocate about Cips, just for the halibut…
    Ashton gave him his England debut but , ultimately,didn’t trust him. Johnno had little time for him, ditto Lancaster. We all know he a maverick genius who can see and do things beyond other players but MAYBE their is something extra needed at Int’l level that he either can’t or won’t apply to his game? I don’t know but it is strange.

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    1. Cip doesn’t toe the line Acee. Doesn’t fit the cultural mind set, so people keep bringing up the irrelevance of the nightclub. Farrell & Youngs OTOH, do fit the mould.. even though they robotically kicked England to oblivion v Wales & almost v The Scots from winning posi’s. Cips might NOT have done this, but would have incurred Ed’s ire for erring from the master plan. Wasps didn’t have an issue with him (although Stu Abbott might demur about 1 single occasion) & where, to improve, he voluntarily put in extra sprint practise with Margot (sp?) Wells. Perhaps Wasps’ more enlightened man management brought out the best in Danny Boy & therefore have England long missed a trick? However, we’ve all been here before haven’t we? Opposition gain?

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  7. Well I am really hoping that this is the last chance saloon for Francis and Heinz. Why we are capping a 32 year old scrum half lacking pace compared to his counterparts I don’t know.

    Spencer has been on great form all season, has won the European and Premiership double with Sarries and will be high on confidence. He is also the link between Billy and Owen and plays and trains with them week in week out, so of course, he is the perfect person to leave out of the squad!?!?!? He is arguably the best tactical kicking scrum half we have, and also has a very good kicking percentage from the tee.

    Francis has had a good season, but compared to the likes of Slade, Marchant and Lozowski is lacking pace and strength. His defence in the Northampton midfield has improved but is nowhere near the level of Slade or Lozowksi in the 13 channel, assuming that’s where Eddie wants him to play?

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    1. IMV Wiggie is still a better kicking scrum half Dazza, but I´m sure you have seen more of them lately than I have.

  8. Heinz getting selected of Spencer (and Robson and Care for that matter) is a bit odd but Jones picks – or non picks – in this position have been a cause for consternation since he took over.
    Nothing wrong with bringing in a bolter – but you would expect one to come through on the basis of his club form demanding selection. Nothing Heinz has done in the latter part of last season suggests he’s a better player then those he has displaced.

  9. Provided all named are fit to start;
    MV Geo Sinckler Wilson Itoje Kruis Curry BV; Youngs Farrell (c) May Tui Slade Daly Watson? Most pick themselves I think. Have to give Watson a go @ some point, so if not now, then when? Ed probably would ideally have had Daly @ f/back, but don’t reckon his risking Coca to start @ wing. Later, if win likely? But we’ll see.. hopefully if team announced before KO.

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    1. Good looking side, Don.

      Also it’s nice to finally have something to smile about at 7. Curry starting backed up by Underhill, 2 genuine opensides.

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      1. Regds EC. Better with Cip in, Daly @ o/s centre, Slade inside & Brown 15.. to start, as a bolder statement of intent. Could bring on Watson, Ford (might have gathered by now, not a Farrell fan) later.. but again, also been here before.

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  10. Can’t understand why he is considering so many greenhorns at this stage.Surely only proven performers should be considered.Really worried about our 9-Youngs is at best average as is Heinz.Is this position our Achilles heal?Hope to god he plays Watson at 15 and not Daly.We have too few players of real international class to win the cup .Semi final will be reasonable

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    1. 9 is definitely a problem position and one entirely of Eddie’s making. It makes zero sense to have Heinz above Spencer especially given that Spencer plays with Faz! It’s not as if our first choice is reliable either. No one except Youngs and Care have any international experience..oh Sorry forgot Wiggles who is about 90. Eddie’s mishandling of the scrum half situation will be the undoing of the whole team unless we are incredibly lucky.

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      1. He may be about 90 Bolter, but he is still extremely fit, a good kicker and a first class finisher of games. I would have him in front of Youngs or Heinz any day. Mind you, I´d have my Auntie Mabel in front of Youngs so that´s not saying a lot. I repeat what I have said a lot on here in the past. We can´t win a world cup with Youngs at 9.

  11. Totally agree with the comments re 9; an absolute middle throughout the last year or so. My other big worries are 8 and 12, with BV injury issues there should be a permanent backup in the squad I.e. Morgan. Shields/Wilson are better at 6 and weaken the team if they have to move. If Teo is out, again Farrell or whoever else don’t really fit the plan and means us adopting a different tactic in a pressure environment, potentially weakening the team through movement of personnel. Just find it worrying we don’t have a plan and 2 players per position to execute it. Ludlum for Dombrandt highlights it I think, Donbrandt could be the 8 backup, Ludlum can’t and is a poor sub at 6 if Wilson has to move..muddled

    1. Agree Stu. Haven’t a clue why Morgan, a proven international player, isn’t the back.up 8. Surely he isn’t going to ditch Te’o after playing him constantly otherwise where is the back.up to Manu when he breaks? Francis shouldn’t be there in front of Lozowski! Some of this is borderline farcical and it’s all too typical of Eddie and his Ego where he has to make vanity picks to prove everyone wrong only to make a pig’s ear of everything.
      And why is he going to announce his squad early with so many question marks? It’s all about his ridiculous ginormous ego!!

  12. Just found out that the reason Brown and Teo were axed is because they got into an “argument” on a team bonding session in Treviso.
    Can’t see Eddie selecting either of them after this

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