An incredible XV of players who WON’T be at the World Cup

Lock: Will Skelton, Australia

The Wallaby lock ended speculation about his future by signing a new two-year deal with Saracens that rules him out of the World Cup in Japan unless Australian rugby chiefs relax their current stance.

Lock: Richie Gray, Scotland

Gregor Townsend has left the door ajar for Richie Gray to make the Rugby World Cup but the big lock is one of several notable names not in the Scotland coach’s training squad for the tournament in Japan. However, he certainly improved his chances after helping Toulouse to the Top 14 title.

Flanker: Scott Fardy, Australia

The back-rower has conceded he won’t be going to Japan later this year. He signed a new deal with the Leinster last February and, under Australia’s current rules, is ineligible to take part in the showpiece event later this year.

Flanker: Jerome Kaino, New Zealand

The 36-year-old backrower captained Toulouse to a 24-18 victory over Clermont Auvergne in the Top 14 grand final at the Stade de France. It was the first domestic medal of Kaino’s long career after 15 barren seasons with the Blues.

Number 8: Steve Luatua, New Zealand

The Bristol powerhouse had hinted that he wanted to go to the World Cup but having doubled his wages by coming to England, he decided to sign a new deal to remain at Ashton Gate.

Mascots with Steve Luatua, Captain of Bristol Bears during the Gallagher Premiership Match between Bristol Bears and Northampton Saints at Ashton Gate, Bristol on September 29. – PHOTO: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK – Rugby
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