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10 squad stats as England announce Rugby World Cup roster

Marcus Smith - PA

England head coach Steve Borthwick has named his 33-player squad for the Rugby World Cup in France.


Centre Henry Slade and number eight Alex Dombrandt have both been left out of their squad for the World Cup, the Rugby Football Union has announced.

Slade has been an automatic pick in the midfield for much of the last six years, appearing in 30 of the last 37 Tests since the 2019 tournament, but has been overlooked for the 33-man group.

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Instead the versatile Exeter centre has lost out to Joe Marchant, who covers wing as well as 13 and played his way into the squad after emerging from the wreckage of Saturday’s defeat by Wales with his reputation enhanced.

The exclusion of Alex Dombrandt means that Billy Vunipola is the only specialist number eight bound for France next month.

Dombrandt started every match in the Six Nations but was unable to stamp his authority on the jersey and compounded his humdrum form with an unimpressive display in Cardiff.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the numbers behind the squad.

1,411 – the total number of caps won by England’s World Cup squad members.

14 – the number of backs in the squad.


19 – the number of forwards in the squad.

7 – the number of Gallagher Premiership clubs represented in England’s squad.

16 – the number of players yet to play in a Rugby World Cup.

122 – the most-capped player, Leicester scrum-half Ben Youngs.

4 – the number of players from French clubs.

27 – the average age of England’s World Cup squad.

20 – the age of youngest player Henry Arundell.

3 – the number of Rugby World Cups that Ben Youngs, Dan Cole and Courtney Lawes have played in.



England squad for the Rugby World Cup in France.

Backs: H Arundell (Racing 92), D Care (Harlequins), E Daly (Saracens), O Farrell (Saracens), G Ford (Sale Sharks), O Lawrence (Bath), M Malins (Bristol), J Marchant (Stade Francais), M Smith (Harlequins), F Steward (Leicester), M Tuilagi (Sale Sharks), J van Poortvliet (Leicester), A Watson (unattached), B Youngs (Leicester).

Forwards: O Chessum (Leicester), D Cole (Leicester), T Curry (Sale Sharks), T Dan (Saracens), B Earl (Saracens), E Genge (Bristol), J George (Saracens), M Itoje (Saracens), C Lawes (Northampton), L Ludlam (Northampton), J Marler (Harlequins), G Martin (Leicester), D Ribbans (Toulon), B Rodd (Sale Sharks), K Sinckler (Bristol), W Stuart (Bath), B Vunipola (Saracens), J Walker (Harlequins), J Willis (Toulouse).


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Turlough 4 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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