Ben Te’o and Mike Brown miss out on England’s 31-man Rugby World Cup squad after training-camp bust-up as uncapped Ruaridh McConnochie gets nod by Eddie Jones
- Ben Te’o was axed from England’s squad after a training ground confrontation
- He was involved in a clash with Mike Brown at England’s camp in Italy this month
- Te’o and Brown will both not go to the World Cup, which starts on September 20
- Northampton Saints’ Piers Francis is the beneficiary of Te’o’s absence
Ben Te’o was axed from England’s World Cup squad after a training-camp confrontation as Eddie Jones revealed his final 31-man squad for Japan.
The 32-year-old centre was involved in a clash with Mike Brown at England’s camp in Italy earlier this month – and now neither player will go to the tournament.
It is understood the pair clashed at a social event during the squad’s heat and humidity training camp in Treviso last week.
Ben Te’o hasn’t been included in England’s 31-man squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup
Eddie Jones revealed his squad for the tournament in Japan, which starts on September 20
PROPS: Dan Cole, Kyle Sinckler, Joe Marler, Mako Vunipola, Ellis Genge.
HOOKERS: Jamie George, Luke Cowan Dickie, Jack Singleton.
LOCKS: Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Joe Launchbury.
BACK-ROWS: Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Mark Wilson, Lewis Ludlam, Billy Vunipola.
SCRUM-HALVES: Ben Youngs, Willi Heinz. FLY-HALVES: Owen Farrell ©, George Ford.
CENTRES: Manu Tuilagi, Henry Slade, Jonathan Joseph, Piers Francis.
BACK-THREE: Jonny May, Anthony Watson, Elliot Daly, Joe Cokanasiga, Jack Nowell. Ruaridh McConnochie.
Piers Francis is the beneficiary of Te’o’s absence – the Northampton Saints midfielder goes as one of four centres, alongside Henry Slade, Manu Tuilagi and Jonathan Joseph.
Ruaridh McConnochie is the only uncapped player named in the squad, which will be captained by Owen Farrell.
The Bath utility-back has played just 15 Premiership matches, scoring four tries, and has featured in one season of professional XVs rugby having converted from Sevens last year.
He travels as part of a six-strong back-three division, with Joe Cokanasiga, Jonny May, Anthony Watson, Elliot Daly and the currently injured Jack Nowell all in. Nowell still faces a race against time to be fit for the tournament, as he may not play in any of the warm-up matches after suffering an ankle ligament injury in June’s Premiership final.
The other injured player – Brad Shields, who hurt his foot in camp this summer – is left out, with rookie one-cap flanker Lewis Ludlam preferred.
Elsewhere Willi Heinz is selected having played just 50 minutes of Test rugby – on Sunday against Wales in the warm-up fixture England won 33-19 at Twickenham.
Te’o was involved in a clash with Mike Brown and now neither player will go to the tournament
Piers Francis is the beneficiary of Te’o’s absence from the Red Roses squad for Japan
Ben Youngs is the only other scrum-half who makes the plane, and the Leicester No 9 is the most-capped player in the squad alongside veteran prop Dan Cole with 86 England appearances.
Head coach Jones said: ‘Today is another step in the progress towards the Rugby World Cup.
‘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.’
The likes of Dylan Hartley, Chris Robshaw, Danny Cipriani, Danny Care, Alex Goode, Dan Robson, Ben Spencer and Richard Wigglesworth have all been overlooked.
On the players not selected Jones added: ‘A lot of good players have missed out, we feel for them, I feel for them personally.
Ruaridh McConnochie is the only uncapped player named in the World Cup squad
Owen Farrell will captain the squad, who begin tournament against Tonga on September 22
‘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.’
Joe Marler, who retired last year before reversing his decision, makes the final cut alongside props Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler, Ellis Genge and Cole – Harry Williams, of Exeter Chiefs, is the one prop culled from the wider training group.
At lock England have Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes and Joe Launchbury in, with Bath’s Charlie Ewels missing out, and in the back-row Billy Vunipola is the only recognised No 8 with Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Mark Wilson and Ludlam the flankers.
At hooker there is no late reprieve for the injured Hartley. The former England captain is not one of the three No 2s to be included, as Jamie George, Luke Cowan Dickie and Jack Singleton are selected.
England have three more warm-up fixtures until they fly to Japan on September 8. Next Saturday they play Wales in Cardiff, on August 24 host Ireland, before playing Italy in Newcastle on September 6.
There is no late reprieve for Dylan Hartley, who is currently out with a knee injury
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