England’s RWC squad confirmed

Date published: August 27 2015

Former rugby league star Sam Burgess has been included in England's final 31-man squad for this year's Rugby World Cup. 

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has opted for Burgess and young Exeter Chiefs back Henry Slade ahead of Northampton's Luther Burrell in his group of centres.

In the other close battles, George Kruis is in ahead of Dave Attwood, while Ben Morgan has held off a late charge from Nick Easter to make the final group. Kieran Brookes is in as the fifth prop ahead of Alex Corbisiero.

The 31-strong group of 17 forwards and 14 backs – drawn from eight Premiership clubs – will open their campaign against Fiji at Twickenham Stadium on Friday 18 September.

Lancaster said: “It’s really positive that we have such depth and options to choose from. Selection wasn’t easy and it is tough to leave anyone out but it’s important to stress that the players not in this group are still part of our wider squad and could come in at any point.  

“After ten weeks in camp we have made our final selection of players and we believe we have a great group to take us into the tournament. With three weeks to go before we play Fiji we feel we are in good shape as we head into next Saturday’s game against Ireland.

“As the excitement builds around the tournament we are looking forward to the country getting behind England and we know this group of players will represent the nation with pride.”

England's Rugby World Cup squad: Joe Marler, Mako Vunipola, Kieran Brookes, Dan Cole, David Wilson, Tom Youngs, Rob Webber, Jamie George, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, George Kruis, Geoff Parling, Chris Robshaw (c), Tom Wood, James Haskell, Billy Vunipola, Ben Morgan, Ben Youngs, Richard Wigglesworth, Danny Care, George Ford, Owen Farrell, Brad Barritt, Sam Burgess, Jonathan Joseph, Henry Slade, Jack Nowell, Anthony Watson, Jonny May, Mike Brown, Alex Goode.