Published: Tue, August 13, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

McConnochie in England World Cup squad

McConnochie in England World Cup squad

England left center Ben Te'o out of its Rugby World Cup squad after he was involved in a scuffle with a teammate at a training camp in Italy.

Australia's Bledisloe Cup victory on Saturday opened the door for the Six Nations champion to replace New Zealand as the top-ranked side in the world for the first time, but it was denied by a fired-up England.

But in dramatic fall from grace, he has been overlooked for the 31-man squad that will depart for the tournament on September 8, losing out to the unheralded Piers Francis who has been limited to five caps.

Tries from Billy Vunipola, Joe Cokanasiga and Luke Cowan-Dickie and a flawless kicking display from stand-in captain George Ford prevented a strong Wales side from replacing New Zealand at the top of the rankings.

Sevens specialist and 2016 Olympic silver-medallist Ruaridh McConnochie continues a remarkable year by being present as the only uncapped player on the strength of an impressive end to his debut season for Bath.

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Global governing body World Rugby have this year ordered referees to dismiss players for risky tackles in the head and neck area, regardless of intent, as they look to make the game safer.

Brad Shields will also miss out on the World Cup as he continues his rehabilitation from the foot injury incurred in Treviso. "It's important for the game, really important for the game". England also has the experience of prop Dan Cole, second-rower Courtney Lawes and scrumhalf Ben Youngs, who will play in their third World Cups. We watched him in club rugby, he'd done particularly well and we thought we'd roll the dice and bring him into camp to see what he could offer. Jones says outhalf George Ford will cover at nine if needs be, with the Leicester man set to fill in until a replacement can arrive.

"We'd like to take three in every specialist position but that would leave us short in other positions, so we've made a decision to go with two at scrum-half and two at tighthead", Jones said.

The Australian said: "He's got a bit of an AC joint, we don't feel it's too serious".

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.

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