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Former captains out in the cold as Eddie Jones brings England World Cup squad together

The former Japan boss has made exceptions in his initial squad, but Dylan Hartley is not one of them.

File photo: Hartley and Robshaw in 2012.
File photo: Hartley and Robshaw in 2012.
Image: EMPICS Sport

ENGLAND HEAD COACH Eddie Jones today unveiled a 29-man pre-World Cup training squad with no place for double Six Nations-winning captain Dylan Hartley.

Wasps’ Nathan Hughes, former captain Chris Robshaw and fellow Harlequin Danny Care are notable, though not surprising, omissions.

With a protocol agreed to give players five weeks off from the end of the season, it was expected that Jones’ initial squad would not feature players from the four Premiership semi-finalists – Saracens, Exeter, Gloucester and Northampton Saints.

However, in today’s group Jones included Saints flanker Lewis Ludlam and Gloucester prop Val Rapava Ruskin. Their inclusion adds further weight to reports the Australian is will continue on without Northampton hooker Hartley, who has not played since December due to a knee injury, when the squad is completed in the coming weeks.

Along with Ludlam and Rapava Ruskin, Bath wing Ruaridh McConnochie and Harlequins back row Alex Dombrandt will also sample their first England senior camp.

Exeter Chiefs wing Jack Nowell is set to miss the World Cup warm-ups (which includes a Twickenham Test against Ireland on 24 August) after undergoing surgery on an ankle injury sustained in the Premiership final. However, he is holding onto hope of featuring in Japan.

The Times yesterday reported that Joe Marler is set to row back on his international retirement and push for a spot in Japan. The Harlequins loosehead is included in England’s Elite Player Squad and could join England five weeks after playing against them as a Barbarian.

Saracens duo Mako Vunipola and George Kruis will also spend next week in Pennyhill Park for injury treatment.

England training camp

Forwards

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).

Backs

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).

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Sean Farrell

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