Ashton set for World Cup cut

Date published: August 7 2015

Chris Ashton looks set to be cut from England's Rugby World Cup squad, with Semesa Rokoduguni preferred on the wing.

The Saracens winger was joint top try-scorer at the last World Cup, but has fallen out of favour under Stuart Lancaster, with his defensive struggles seeing him drop down the pecking order.

Despite a prolific season with Sarries, Ashton hasn't managed to fight his way back into Lancaster's plans, and is now expected to be one of eight players released on Friday, according to reports in England.

Marland Yarde has been tipped to join him, with Rokoduguni, who wasn't initially included in England's squad, getting the chance to stake a claim.

The Fijian-born Bath winger only earned a call-up after David Strettle pulled out of the squad ahead of his move to Clermont Auvergne, but it seems Rokoduguni has done enough to be tested during the two warm-up games against France.

Another starter from the 2011 side, Nick Easter, is also expected to be dropped from the squad, with a back injury having hampered his preparation and kept him from joining the group in Denver.

Lancaster will name his final squad on August 31, after the two games against France, with a third warm-up game against Ireland at the start of September.