Rugby World Cup 2019: Ben Te'o, Brad Shields miss England 31-man squad for Japan

England coach Eddie Jones has left experienced centre Ben Te'o out of his 31-man World Cup squad and included uncapped winger Ruaridh McConnochie.

Former Hurricanes skipper Brad Shields has also missed the cut - failing to recover from a troublesome foot injury.

Jones opted for only two scrumhalves - the experienced Ben Youngs and rookie Willi Heinz - for the tournament in Japan, starting next month.

Flyhalf Owen Farrell was named captain and McConnochie is the only uncapped player in the squad.

Eight players named were from Premiership champions Saracens, including lock Maro Itoje, number eight Billy Vunipola and prop Mako Vunipola.

Flanker Lewis Ludlam and hooker Jack Singleton, who won their first caps alongside Heinz in England's win over Wales in a warm-up match on Sunday, also made the cut.

But there was no place for former NRL Grand Final winner Te'o, who was excluded from the final week of an England training camp, after being involved in an altercation with teammate Mike Brown.

England squad member Willi Heinz played over 50 games for the Crusaders.
England squad member Willi Heinz played over 50 games for the Crusaders. Photo credit: Getty
2015 Lions tourist Ben Te'o missed the cut.
2015 Lions tourist Ben Te'o missed the cut. Photo credit: Getty

Although teams have until September 8 to submit their squads to World Rugby, Jones decided to name his early.

"We have taken the decision to go early because of what we learned from previous campaigns," Jones said.

"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.

"A lot of good players have missed out - we feel for them, I feel for them personally. 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 play three more warm-up matches - away to Wales, and home to Ireland and Italy - before heading to Japan, where they kick off their campaign against Tonga in Pool C on September 22.

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

Forwards: 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: 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.

Reuters

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