Absent duo won’t hurt England

Date published: June 18 2015

England will be able to survive the loss of key duo Manu Tuilagi and Dylan Hartley, according to Wales skipper Sam Warburton.

Tuilagi was not considered for England's World Cup squad after being charged with assaulting a police officer.

Meanwhile Hartley was initially named in the 50-man preliminary squad, only to be dropped after picking up a four-week ban for a headbutt on Saracens hooker Jamie George that will keep him out of the start of the tournament.

Stuart Lancaster has repeatedly prioritised discipline in his squad, and made no exceptions for the pair of potential starters. But Warburton, whose Wales side will face England in Pool A, feels they have the strength in depth to overcome the losses.

"It didn't affect them in the Six Nations," Warburton said.

"They had a lot of players out but they come away from home and beat us, they deserve a massive amount of credit for that.

"I've met Dylan Hartley, he's a great lad and he will be a big loss for them because he's a very good captain and leader.

"The same with Manu as I was hugely impressed when I played with him for the Lions.

"But I think England have got great strength in depth and they proved that against us in Cardiff earlier this year – they will be okay."

Sam Warburton was speaking with Dove Men Care, Official Tournament Supplier of Rugby World Cup 2015 and Official Partner of Welsh Rugby. For your chance to win tickets #scrumtogether on @dovemen