ENGLAND MEN ANNOUNCE SQUAD FOR RUGBY WORLD CUP

England men's head coach Eddie Jones has confirmed his official 31-man squad to participate in the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan beginning next month.

Owen Farrell will captain England in his second Rugby World Cup.

The squad of 31 players have over 1,000 caps with 17 having played in at least one of the previous Rugby World Cups.

The 2019 edition of the tournament will be the third for Dan Cole, Courtney Lawes and Ben Youngs. Cole and Youngs are the most capped in the squad (86).

After an impressive first season in the Premiership, having converted to the XVs game from sevens, Ruaridh McConnochie is the only uncapped player named.

Following their first caps against Wales on Sunday, which saw England win 33-19 at Twickenham, Lewis Ludlam, Jack Singleton and Willi Heinz are also included.

"Today is another step in the progress towards the Rugby World Cup," said Jones. "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."

On the players not selected Jones added: "A lot of good players have missed out, we feel for them, I feel for them personally. 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."

England have three matches against Wales (17 August), Ireland (24 August) and Italy (6 September) before the tournament starts. Jones said of their importance: "Every game is an opportunity to improve our game fitness, our team cohesion, and our tactical adaptability. Each game for us will have a specific purpose."

England will begin their Rugby World Cup campaign in Japan against Tonga in Sapporo (22 September, KO 11:15am UK time) before playing USA Rugby in Kobe (26 September, KO 11:45am UK time), Argentina in Tokyo (5 October, KO 09:00am UK time) and France in Yokohama (12 October, KO 09:15am UK time).

England's official Rugby World Cup squad

Forwards
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 86 caps) **
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 12 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 11 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 10 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 37 caps) *
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 27 caps)
George Kruis (Saracens, 32 caps) *
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 59 caps) *
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 72 caps) **
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 1 cap)
Joe Marler (Harlequins, 58 caps) *
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 22 caps)
Jack Singleton (Saracens, 1 cap)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 42 caps) *
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 53 caps) *
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons / Sale Sharks, 13 caps)

Backs
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 5 caps)
Elliot Daly (Saracens, 31 caps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 70 caps) *
George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 56 caps) *
Piers Francis (Northampton Saints, 5 caps)
Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 1 cap)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 41 caps) *
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 45 caps) *
Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 33 caps) *
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 22 caps) *
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 33 caps) *
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 34 caps) *
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 86 caps) **

* number of Rugby World Cup tournaments played

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