Rugby World Cup 2019: Willi Heinz reflects on 'surreal' World Cup call-up for England

England have named their squad for next month's tournament, with Christchurch-born Willi Heinz set to appear at a World Cup with a rose on his chest, instead of a fern. 

The former Crusader has been included in Eddie Jones' 31-man squad just a day after playing his first game for his adopted nation. 

"It's all been pretty surreal to be honest," Heinz said. "The last couple of months have been a bit of a whirlwind, particularly the last 24 hours."

He upped sticks from Christchurch in 2015 to chase his rugby dream, captaining Gloucester to third place in this year's Premiership Rugby and clearly impressing England coach Eddie Jones in the process.

"It's always nice to bring new blood in," said Jones. "I think it freshens everything up."

While he's new blood, at age 32, he's not exactly young blood.

"Timing is everything and I guess it's taken me a little bit longer than it takes most people," said Heinz. 

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