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England RWC selection casualties

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England's six big Rugby World Cup selection casualties

Eddie Jones named his 35-man training squad for the Rugby World Cup on Thursday, as England gear up for their trip to Japan next month.

The Australian had already named two training squads over recent weeks, although with Saracens and Exeter Chiefs players assured of their minimum five-week offseason and absent from prior squads, this group represents the first that Jones has had the full player pool at his disposal.

The much-talked about Danny Cipriani finds himself in the squad for now, whilst Northampton Saints flanker Lewis Ludlam and Bath wing Ruaridh McConnochie have been rewarded for their form last season with spots.

Nathan Hughes

His omission from the early training camps raised eyebrows but with Jones having relentlessly gone to the Fijian-born number eight as Billy Vunipola’s understudy – and given Vunipola’s recent track record of injuries – his exclusion is still somewhat of a surprise.

Possibly a victim of Mark Wilson’s excellent season, where the new Sale Shark also looked comfortable at the base of the scrum, Hughes’ absence will be welcome news for Bristol Bears and Pat Lam at the least, who could now get their £500k man for the entire season.

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Danny Care

Not surprising, given Care hadn’t been involved in the prior training squads, despite being eligible, but his experience in international rugby and impact under Jones in previous seasons made it feel as though the door was still open.

Outside of Ben Youngs, England’s scrum-half options have next to no experience of test rugby and Jones has shown no willingness to give it to them, having stuck by Youngs and Care fervently through his first three seasons, before sending the majority of minutes the Leicester man’s way over the last campaign.

Ollie Thorley

The Gloucester wing had seemed to be the next man up for England earlier in the season, although it seems as if McConnochie’s dazzling end to the campaign has pushed the 22-year-old out of the equation.

With Chris Ashton having withdrawn for personal reasons, Nathan Earle out with an ACL injury and Jack Nowell in a race against time to be fit following ankle surgery, Thorley’s absence still comes as a surprise.

Alex Lozowski

Although he hasn’t regularly featured in matchday squads under Jones, Lozowski has still been a frequent member of his training squads.

His ability to cover 10, 12, 13 and even the wing spots makes him ideal for training squads, but it seems as though Piers Francis has edged in front of him.

Ollie Devoto

Similar to Lozowski, Devoto has been a regular go-to man for training camps at the least. Francis’ form has clearly been enough to make Jones think otherwise.

It only further reinforces the comfort the Australian has with his options at 12 in Ben Te’o and Manu Tuilagi.

Mike Brown

There’s no space for the specialist full-back, as Jones forges ahead with Elliot Daly at 15 and is able to welcome back Anthony Watson into the group, after the Bath man missed most of the 2018/19 season with injury.

The Rugby World Cup seems to have come a year too late for the Quins trio of Brown, Care and Chris Robshaw.

Watch: Steve Hansen talks about his selection of Sevu Reece

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England's six big Rugby World Cup selection casualties