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This Rugby World Cup ‘Rejected XV’ would beat most teams on the planet

10. Danny Cipriani (England): The form flyhalf of the Premiership in recent years, Gloucester’s playmaker wasn’t picked given his various off-field indiscretions and reputation as a flighty type.


9. Danny Care (England): The 84-Test scrumhalf fell out of favour with Jones and was discarded for former Crusaders backup Willi Heinz, who qualifies for England through his grandmother.

1.Rob Evans (Wales): Warren Gatland’s decision to leave Evans out of his squad was one that raised a few eyebrows among the Welsh faithful. Both he and tighthead prop Samson Lee have more test experience than that of Rhys Carré, Whyn Jones and Dillon Lewis combined, but neither will board the plane from Cardiff to Tokyo

2. Dylan Hartley (England): The abrasive Kiwi-born hooker was Eddie Jones’ choice as captain throughout the majority of the pre-World Cup cycle but paid the price for a bad run of injuries.

3. Owen Franks (New Zealand): The biggest surprise of the All Blacks’ World Cup squad announcement was Steve Hansen’s decision to leave out 108-test, two-time World Cup-winning prop Owen Franks.

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