"Former Sevens Star" Three Uncapped England Wildcards for 2023 Rugby World Cup - Ruck

“Former Sevens Star” Three Uncapped England Wildcards for 2023 Rugby World Cup

The 2023 Rugby World Cup is fast approaching, and there are just a just a few international test matches left for these three England wildcards to impress Steve Borthwick.

In a series of Rugby World Cup warm-up matches, Steve Borthwick’s side take on Wales twice, alternating between Cardiff and Twickenham. England then head back to Dublin to take on 2023 Six Nations Grand Slam Winners Ireland, before Fiji provide one last speedbump on the road to France.

Joe Marchant of England, Henry Slade of England, Sam Simmonds of England, Jonny Hill of England and Freddie Steward of England during the national anthems during the Autumn Nations Match between England and South Africa at Twickenham Stadium on 20 November 2021. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Squad depth will be key for Borthwick during the Summer, and he will look to call up some fringe players for last-chance run outs before the World Cup. Here are three more players hoping to make a last minute impact, and secure a late spot for the 2023 Rugby World Cup

  1. Harry Thacker
Harry Thacker of Bristol Bears during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Semi Final Match between Bristol Bears and Harlequins at Ashton Gate on 19 Jun. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

The Bristol Bears star certainly knows where the try-line is as he has scored 10 tries throughout the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership season. This sets Thacker apart as the highest scoring hooker in the league, and he could well be a solid choice to add squad depth in the number two jersey.

Thacker also leads the scoring charts for any forward in the Gallagher Premiership this season, with Leicester Tigers hooker Julien Montoya the second highest with eight tries. The skilful, high-octane hooker Thacker is a definitive fan favourite for the Bears, and has been providing stand-out appearances in the Premiership, since his debut for Leicester Tigers in 2013. Joing Bristol following the West Country clubs return to the top flight in 2018, Thacker has gone from strength to strength ever since.

Harry Thacker of Bristol Bears during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Gloucester Rugby and Bristol Bears at Kingsholm Stadium on August 21, 2020 in Gloucester, England. (Photo by Phil Mingo/PPAUK/Gallagher)

It is a shock to see Thacker overlooked for an England call-up for so long, yet the 29-year-old has previously received international recognition at age group level. In 2014, Thacker made five appearances and scored four tries for the England U20s side, yet was unable to press on for a full England call-up.

A powerful line runner with deceptive pace, Thacker combines physical ability with impressive passing, and the wherewithal to make the correct decision in attack. Included in the Guardian’s Team of the Year for the 2018/19 Premiership season, Thacker is fully deserving of an England cap, and the upcoming Summer could see him make his long awaited run out in an England shirt.