Sunday Jul 7, 2019

Alternative World Cup XV highlights huge England squad depth

England head coach Eddie Jones left out some fairly big names from his Rugby World Cup training squad on Friday.


Former captain Chris Robshaw is one of the biggest exclusions from the squad along with Mike Brown, Danny Care and other former captain Dylan Hartley all missing out.

“World Cup selection is a four-year process,” said Jones. “We have looked at the squad carefully, tried to build up a squad that has enough experience, attitude and energy to be winners and I think we have that.

“In the process, we have left out some players who can feel unlucky. For those guys who have missed out, the door is never closed but they have just got to be ready, as you never know when the opportunity comes.”

In fact there was a whole host of players who didn’t make the cut for Jones’ squad and here is a potential starting lineup of England-qualified players who could  join the squad if required:

15 Mike Brown

14 Denny Solomona


13 Nick Tompkins

12 Alex Lozowski

11 Chris Ashton

10 Marcus Smith


9 Danny Care

8 Nathan Hughes

7 Chris Robshaw

6 Alex Dombrandt

5 Dave Attwood

4 Ed Slater

3 Nick Schonert

2 Dylan Hartley

1 Alec Hepburn

This team has a combined total of 377 caps shared among them which demonstrates the strength in depth England has going into the tournament in Japan. Obviously there are other names which could be thrown into the mix but this list of players is a result of England having the largest pool of players to choose from in World Rugby.

The 35-man World Cup training squad named by Jones earlier in the week consists of:


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)

Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 58 caps)

Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 71 caps)

Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, uncapped)

Joe Marler (Harlequins, 59 caps)

Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs, 8 caps)

Brad Shields (Wasps, 8 caps)

Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 22 caps)

Jack Singleton (Saracens, uncapped)

Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby 9 caps)

Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 41 caps)

Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 17 caps)

Mark Wilson (Sale Sharks, 13 caps)


Danny Cipriani (Gloucester Rugby, 16 caps)

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)

Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 45 caps)

Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby, uncapped)

Ben Spencer (Saracens, 3 caps)

Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 22 caps)

Ben Te’o (unattached, 18 caps)

Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 32 caps)

Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 33 caps)

Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 85 caps)

In camp for rehabilitation

George Kruis (Saracens, 32 caps)

Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 33 caps)

Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 53 caps)

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