Rugby World Cup 2019: Former Canterbury halfback Willi Heinz on track to represent England in Japan

  • 07/08/2019

Former Canterbury halfback Willi Heinz appears on track to represent England at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Heinz has made the cut for coach Eddie Jones' 33-man squad to face Warren Gatland's Welsh Dragons in next week's warm-up match. 

The 32-year-old switched to European rugby in 2015, after 52 appearances for the red-and-blacks and 58 for the Crusaders, most as back-up to All Black half Andy Ellis.
Heinz linked up with Gloucester and impressed from the get-go, eventually being invited to an England camp in 2017.

Heinz, who qualifies for England through his grandmother, looks certain to make his test debut against Wales on Monday morning. He is one of only two halfbacks in the squad, alongside first choice Ben Youngs. 

The news isn't as good for Auckland-born second-five Ben Te'o. The 2015 British & Irish Lions tourists is a shock omission, as Jones ponders his combinations before naming his World Cup squad next Thursday. 

Te'o, a former NRL star, seems to be on the outside, looking in, with Jones opting for former Blues playmaker Piers Francis, Jonathan Joseph, Henry Slade, Joe Marchant and Manu Tuilagi as his midfield options.

Former Hurricanes skipper Brad Shields is still sidelined with a foot injury, although Jones indicated the loose forward would be considered for selection, if he can prove his fitness.

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