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Uncapped McConnochie in England squad as Jones leaves Te’o out for Rugby World Cup

Ruaridh McConnochie has been named in England’s 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup – but there is no place for Ben Te’o ahead of the tournament in Japan.

Wing McConnochie, who claimed a silver medal on sevens duty for Great Britain at the 2016 Olympic Games, is the only uncapped player selected by Eddie Jones following an excellent season with Bath.

Having impressed on their debuts in a 33-19 win over Wales at Twickenham on Sunday, Lewis Ludlam, Jack Singleton and Willi Heinz make the cut.

However, there is no place for experienced centre Te’o, Jones instead opting for Piers Francis. 

“Today is another step in the progress towards the Rugby World Cup,” said Jones, who had until September 8 to name his squad.

“We have taken the decision to go early because of what we learned from previous campaigns. We want the squad to know early and now we can get on and be the best prepared England side there has ever been, ready to win the World Cup.

“A lot of good players have missed out, we feel for them, I feel for them personally.

“But as we know the World Cup is an incredible tournament where opportunities can present themselves and all those players who have missed out have been told they have to be ready.”

Owen Farrell will captain the squad at his second World Cup, while team-mates Dan Cole, Courtney Lawes and Ben Youngs previously played at the 2011 and 2015 editions of the competition.

England will continue their World Cup preparations with a game against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, before they take on Ireland on August 24 and Italy on September 6.

“Every game is an opportunity to improve our game fitness, our team cohesion, and our tactical adaptability. Each game for us will have a specific purpose,” Jones added.

 

England’s 31-man Rugby World Cup squad in full:

Forwards: Dan Cole, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler, Jack Singleton, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Mark Wilson.

Backs: Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Piers Francis, Willi Heinz, Jonathan Joseph, Jonny May, Ruaridh McConnochie, Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs.

KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta

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