5 experienced players set to be left out of England World Cup squad - Ruck

5 experienced players set to be left out of England World Cup squad

As things currently stand, five experienced England stars are set to miss out on Steve Borthwick’s final squad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

England’s World Cup squad will be captained by Owen Farrell and vice captains will be Ellis Genge and Courteney Lawes. That makes the trio nailed on for the squad.

A number of major stars, however, are currently set to be axed from the group when Borthwick names his 33-man group.

He has held countless meetings with them, explaining where they are in the pecking order and as the 41 members of his first major squad convene on Sunday, he is sure to do so again.

“I believe players want to know exactly where they stand,” Borthwick says.

“In week one and two, we had players come in and I sat with them straight away and said: ‘This is where you stand and this is what I think you need to do to move forward.’ That’s the first thing I do. Why? As a player, I always remember that I wanted to know what I needed to do.

” I didn’t want ambiguity. My job was to get on with rugby and train, not to be second-guessing anything.”

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#1. Mako Vunipola

As a member of an established Tongan rugby dynasty, Mako Vunipola has made his own mark on the game in a Saracens, England and British & Irish Lions shirt.

Brother of England international Billy, he made Test debut against Fiji in November 2012. A year later he made his British & Irish Lions debut against the Barbarians in Hong Kong and featured in all three Tests for the series win over Australia, and did the same four years later in the drawn series with New Zealand.

Born in Wellington, New Zealand, he qualifies for England on residency after their father Fe’ao, a hooker, emigrated to Wales to play for Pontypool in 1998. Mako signed for Saracens in 2011 from Bristol Rugby and also played on loan for Bedford Blues. He has gone onto win four Premiership titles at Saracens and three European Rugby Champions Cups.

He has also won the 2016 Six Nations Grand Slam with England and was part of the squad that reached the 2019 Rugby World Cup final. Steve Borthwick named Mako in his 36-player squad for the 2023 Guinness Six Nations Championship.

Mako Vunipola of Saracens during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final Match between Saracens and Sale Sharks at Twickenham Stadium on 27 May 2023. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

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