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David Strettle pulls out of England's World Cup training squad ahead of move to Clermont

The Cermont-bound winger wants to settle in France earlier.

Strettle, in action against Ireland in 2012.
Strettle, in action against Ireland in 2012.
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

ENGLAND HAVE SUFFERED their first World Cup training squad withdrawal, but it isn’t an injury that’s caused David Strettle to become unavailable.

The soon-to-be Clermont winger has withdrawn from the training squad before they met up this afternoon, informing Stuart Lancaster that he plans to move to France immediately with his family.

The 31-year-old is leaving Saracens after five seasons and two Premiership titles, and is now all but certain to be ending his international career after 14 caps, the last of which came in 2013.

Strettle had been selected in Stuart Lancaster’s extended 50 man squad, but has opted out, in order to become familiar with the city and the team before the new season.

Lancaster has called up Bath’s Fijian-born Semesa Rokoduguni to replace him, and says while he’s disappointed to be losing Strettle from consideration, he understands his decision.

“After visiting France recently and discussing it with his family, he has made the decision to move early to get settled before the season in France starts, “Lancaster said.

“It is disappointing but David and I have chatted and he feels that, having made the move, he wants to get on with forging his new career and we both agreed it was the best course of action for him to withdraw from the squad,” he added.

The winger made his debut for England in the famous meeting with Ireland at Croke Park in 2007, scoring England’s only try in the 43-13 hammering.

Source: Cathal O'Connor/YouTube

Strettle says that the decision to pull out of the squad was not one he made quickly, but believes that at 31-years-old, he needs to give his full attention to his new club.

“Having now committed to a three-year move at what I feel is the right time in my career, I would like to begin that challenge right away.

“With the England training camp beginning this week, I wanted to be fair to Stuart and the rest of the squad before that started. It goes without saying I wish England the very best for the tournament and I will be supporting them all the way.

“I am extremely proud to have represented England and will look fondly back on the 14 caps I have won for my country since 2007.”

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Neil Treacy

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