World Cup player profiles: England

Date published: September 11 2015

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Ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, we take a look at all of the players set to feature in England. Next up, England.

Forwards: 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.
 
Backs: 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.


BRAD BARRITT

Centre    1.86m    100kg    07.08.1986

A playmaker and vice-captain of the Sharks in his native Natal, Brad Barritt made a vivid impression at the age of 21 before joining Saracens in November 2008. His progress was so rapid that he was called from the 2010 Saxons Churchill Cup squad into England's senior party to Australasia as cover for Dominic Waldouck, making his debut in the non-cap match against New Zealand Maori at Napier in June that year. Famously scored a try in the win over the All Blacks in 2012.


KIERAN BROOKES

Prop    1.88m    124kg    29.08.1990

Brookes won his first two caps in New Zealand in 2014, a reward after a six-year 'apprenticeship' that began with Newcastle Falcons immediately after he completed his studies at Kirkham Grammar School, Preston. He made a whirlwind start to his professional career and after only 40 senior matches appeared off the bench for Paul Doran Jones in the England XV against the Barbarians at Twickenham in May 2011.


MIKE BROWN

Fullback    1.83m    89kg     04.09.1985

Brown played against the Springboks at Bloemfontein and Pretoria in 2007 on his first senior tour. He won seven caps on the wing from late November 2012 to March 2013 before reverting to full-back on the tour of South America. Brown was named 2014 Six Nations Player of the Tournament after breaking into the starting XV and cementing his place as one of England's key players.


SAM BURGESS

Back row/Centre    1.96m    116kg    14.12.1988

One of the world's leading rugby league players, Sam Burgess surprised everyone with his decision to switch to rugby union in 2014. A devastating ball-carrier and tackler in league, he struggled initially in the centres after making the switch. Bath then decided to move him to the back row where he has been much more effective, but England are still keen to use him in both positions.


DANNY CARE

Scrumhalf    1.74m    85kg    02.01.1987

Care represented England U16, U18 and U19 before appearing for the England Sevens side that won a silver medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. Care went on to make his Test debut in 2008 and joined Harlequins from Leeds in 2006. Famous for his speed and sniping attacks around the ruck, Care became major weapon for England during the 2014 Six Nations. Injury in a warm-up match robbed him of the chance to go to the 2011 Rugby World Cup.


DAN COLE

Prop    1.89m    118kg    09.05.1987

Regarded as one of the finest tighthead props in world rugby, Cole with be playing in his second Rugby World Cup for England after appearing in the 2011 competition in New Zealand. Cole made his debut for Leicester Tigers in 2007 and cemented his place in the England side not long after making his international debut in 2010. Cole won three Tests caps for the British and Irish Lions in 2013 before missing much of the 2013/2014 season with a neck injury, recovering in time for the 2015 Six Nations.


OWEN FARRELL
Flyhalf    1.88m    96kg    24.09.1991

A product of St George's School in Harpenden, Owen began playing rugby league at the age of eight, for Wigan St Patricks, like his father, rugby league great Andy. Farrell made his debut in 2012, initially at inside centre, before becoming England's preferred fly-half under Stuart Lancaster until the emergence of childhood friend George Ford in the 2014/2015 season.


GEORGE FORD

Flyhalf    1.75m     84kg    16.03.1993

Ford impressed during his time with the England U20s while still with Leicester Tigers, where he became the youngest ever Premiership player at 16, before joining Bath at the beginning of the 2013/2014 season. Owen Farrell's main rival for the number ten shirt, he won his first caps in 2014 and enjoyed an impressive Six Nations tournament in 2015.


JAMIE GEORGE

Hooker    1.83m    109kg    02.10.1990

Called up to the England squad for the first time in 2015 following Dylan Hartley's suspension. George enjoyed a good run of form in the 2014/2015 season and was a try scorer when Saracens won the 2015 Premiership Final against Northampton. George represented England at all age levels and made his debut for Saracens in 2009.


ALEX GOODE
Fullback    1.81m    85kg    07.05.1988

A reliable member of England's squad since his debut against South Africa in the 2012 Test series. Goode was England's first-choice full-back for the 2012/2013 season before Mike Brown's emergence the following year, but the Saracens back is admired by the England coaches for his versatility to play both fly-half and full-back. Goode's aunt, Joanne, was an Olympic bronze medallist in 2000 for Badminton.


JAMES HASKELL

Flanker/Number eight    1.94m    119kg     02.04.1985

Haskell has been part of the England set-up since 2007, when he made his debut in the Six Nations against Wales playing alongside his club colleagues Tom Rees and Joe Worsley. He reached 50 caps for England against Wales in 2013 and has enjoyed a well-travelled club career, playing for Stade FranĀçais (in France), the Highlanders (New Zealand) and Ricoh Black Rams (Japan), before returning to Wasps and being named captain. He travelled with England to the 2011 Rugby World Cup.


JONATHAN JOSEPH

Centre/Wing    1.83m    91kg    21.05.1991

A star was born when Joseph produced some outstanding displays for England during the 2015 Six Nations, making him a key player for the national side ahead of the Rugby World Cup. Joseph started his professional career with London Irish before joining Bath in 2013, having made his England debut the year before against South Africa. On his return to international action in 2015, Joseph scored three tries in the opening two matches of the Six Nations and was named as the RPA's Players' Player of the Year.


GEORGE KRUIS

Lock    1.98m     115kg    22.02.1990

Appearing in all five matches in the 2010 IRB Junior World Championship pointed the way ahead for George Kruis, one of the brightest young forward prospects in England, to become a member of the squad for the November Tests this year with the lock winning multiple caps for his country during the 2014/2015 season.


JOE LAUNCHBURY

 Lock     1.98m    118kg    12.04.1991

One of England's brightest young prospects, Launchbury has enjoyed a rapid rise with England since breaking into the national side during the 2012 November Tests. The Wasps lock was named England player of the year for 2012-2013 after his first full international season. Laumchbury missed much of the 2014/2015 season through injury but returned to fitness in time to be selected for the World Cup training squad. He made his debut for Wasps in 2010.


COURTNEY LAWES

Lock    2.01m    115kg    23.02.1989

A local boy, Lawes has come through the Northampton ranks to become one of their most important players. A young Lawes made his England debut against Australia in 2009, after appearing for the England Saxons. By the end of the 2014/2015 season he had made over 150 appearances for Northampton and is capable of playing either in the second or back row.


JOE MARLER

Prop    1.83m    113kg    07.07.1990

Captaining England at any level is an accolade and Joe Marler did it for the U18 side against Wales five years ago. He then stepped up for his England Saxons debut against Italy 'A' in January 2011 and 17 months later won his first three England caps against South Africa in Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. Marler played in 14 consecutive Test matches before missing the final game against Italy in the 2014 Six Nations to be with his partner in readiness for the birth of their first son. He was named captain of Harlequins for the 2014/2015 season.


JONNY MAY

Wing    1.86m    90kg    01.04.1990

Since being named as the Breakthrough Player in March 2012, the career of Jonny May has gathered momentum. He joined the England squad in Johannesburg in June 2012 as a replacement for George Lowe and started all their matches in the 2014 Six Nations, before scoring a sensational solo try against New Zealand later that year. May was dropped by England during the 2015 Six Nations but returned in stunning form during the World Cup warm-up matches.


BEN MORGAN

Number Eight    1.91m    116kg    18.02.1989

Stepping stones in the game have taken Ben Morgan to Dursley RFC at the age of five, to Cinderford, then to Merthyr, the Scarlets and into the England Elite Squad with an initial cap off the bench in the 13-6 win over Scotland at Murrayfield in February 2012 and his first in the number eight jersey against Wales at Twickenham three weeks later. A dynamic ball carrier coming back from a serious leg injury in time for the World Cup.


JACK NOWELL

Wing/Fullback    1.77m    87kg    11.04.1993

Nowell was part of the England U20 side that triumphed in 2013 and made his senior debut less than 12 months later in the 2014 Six Nations. Howell started all five matches and scored his first Test try against Italy in the final game of the tournament. Injury ruled him out of the 2014 November Tests but returned to the side in the Six Nations to score three tries in two games against Scotland and France. Nowell plays for Exeter Chiefs and made his club debut in 2012.


GEOFF PARLING

Lock    1.98m     115kg    28.10.1983
Parling has played 12 seasons in the Aviva Premiership, starting at Newcastle where he spent six years from 2003-2009 before joining Leicester Tigers. He signed for Exeter Chiefs in 2015. Parling's England debut came in 2012 at the start of Stuart Lancaster's time in charge during the Six Nations. Parling was called up by the British and Irish Lions the following year and won three Test caps, starting in the second and third Tests.


CHRIS ROBSHAW

Flanker    1.88m    110kg    04.06.1986

An irresistible personal and team performance in the 24-22 win over France in Paris in March 2012 followed the defeats of Scotland and Italy on foreign soil after Robshaw was made captain. He won his first cap against Argentina at Salta almost three years earlier and has captained England throughout Stuart Lancaster's reign, winning acclaim for his work-rate and improving leadership.


HENRY SLADE

Flyhalf/centre    1.88m    87kg    19.03.1993

One of England's rising stars after his performances for the U20 side in the Junior World Championship, which England won in 2013 with Slade heavily involved. Sade made his debut for Exeter Chiefs in 2011 and his outstanding form in the 2014/2015 season resulted in him being called up to the England squad for their World Cup training camp. Slade first played for England against the Barbarians in June 2014 when he impressed.


BILLY VUNIPOLA

Number Eight     1.88m    126kg    03.11.1992

Educated at the Castle School, Bristol, Vunipola won his first eight Test caps consecutively before missing the Wales match at Twickenham in March 2014 through an ankle ligament injury, having been the top ball carrier on either side in both of England’s first two Six Nations matches in 2014. His impressive form has continued since then to make him a major weapon for England at the World Cup.


MAKO VUNIPOLA

Prop    1.80m    130kg    13.01.1991

The older brother of England and Saracens number eight Billy, Vunipola made his debut in the 2012 November Tests for England against Fiji. His impressive form that season led to him being called up by the British and Irish Lions for their tour to Australia in 2013 where he won three Test caps. Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Vunipola scored his first try for England against Italy in the 2013 Six Nations.


ANTHONY WATSON

Wing    1.88m    92kg     26.02.1994

Watson became London Irish's youngest ever player when he made his debut at the age of 17 in 2011. The wing and full-back then joined Bath in 2013 having starred for the England U20s. Watson won his first caps for England during the 2014 November Tests and went on to impress for his country in the 2015 Six Nations, with many tipping him to be a star of the future.


ROB WEBBER

Hooker    1.85m    110kg    24.03.1986

Appearing in every Premiership match in 2008-9 for Wasps was an enviable achievement for Rob Webber at the age of 22, who went on to make his first senior England tour to Australasia in June 2010. Webber's career has progressed since joining Bath with the hooker proving to be a standout performer during England's 2014 tour of New Zealand.


RICHARD WIGGLESWORTH

Scrum-half    1.76m    84kg    09.06.1983

After biding his time at club level, Richard Wigglesworth has been in and out of the England side over the last four years. He made his England debut while he was still at Sale, before a move to Saracens in 2010 that helped him play a major role in the 2011 World Cup campaign. With fierce competition at scrum-half, he dropped down the pecking order, but did enough to become Ben Youngs' back-up during the 2015 Six Nations.


DAVID WILSON

Prop    1.87m    122kg    09.04.1985

Wilson's initial Test caps against Argentina in June 2009 followed his selection in the starting line-up against the Barbarians at Twickenham. He went on to share in England's 21-20 triumph over Australia in Sydney in June 2010 and has been a regular member of the England squad ever since, working in rotation with Dan Cole on the tighthead side of the scrum.


TOM WOOD

Flanker     1.93m    113kg    03.11.1986

A key man in England's back row under the current regime, Northampton flanker Wood made his test debut in 2011 and played in the Rugby World Cup. On his debut as captain, Wood led his country to a 2-0 series win over Argentina in June 2013. Used by his club and country at six, seven and eight at the back of the scrum and a versatile forward who is often used in the lineout.


BEN YOUNGS

Scrumhalf    1.78m    92kg    05.09.1989

Scintillating form behind a dominant Leicester Tigers pack projected Youngs to the accolade of Discovery of the Year 2009-10 at the annual Premiership awards. A try-scoring first start for England in the 21-20 win over Australia at Sydney in June 2010 secured his spot in the national squad. Played at the 2011 Rugby World Cup and is set to be England's number one option again at the 2015 tournament after a stellar season.


TOM YOUNGS

Hooker    1.75m    102kg    28.01.1987

Youngs has enjoyed a rapid rise to the top of international rugby since transitioning from playing flanker to hooker at Leicester Tigers. He followed brother Ben and father Nick when he made his England debut in 2012 and went on to play three Tests for the British and Irish Lions in Australia in 2013. Since then Youngs has been a reliable option for England in the number two shirt, who will play in his first World Cup in 2015.

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