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England squad announcement: The 31 players heading to Japan

Lewis Ludlam - England Rugby World Cup

England head coach Eddie Jones has named the 31-man squad will be Japan-bound for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Lewis Ludlam, Willi Heinz and Ruaridh McConnochie are all included, the latter becoming the first uncapped member of an England World Cup squad since scrum-half Joe Simpson in 2011.

Ludlam and Heinz both enjoyed strong debuts in Sunday’s 33-19 win over a full-strength Wales side.

After their training ground bust-up Ben Te’o and Mike Brown have sabotaged their chances of making the plane, as both are overlooked.

The experienced duo, both highly-rated by Jones, were sent home from a team bonding session on the eve of the Twickenham Test as details still remain murky around what happened.

They will watch the tournament at home and are added to names such as Dylan Hartley, Chris Robshaw and Danny Care who will not be travelling.

Exeter Chiefs prop Harry Williams also misses out as Jones opts for just two tightheads in his squad – Kyle Sinckler and Dan Cole.

Finalising his 17 forwards and 14 backs, Jones voiced his sympathy to those who had missed the cut.

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

“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.

“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.”

England’s 31-man squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Forwards (17):

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 (14): 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

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