Home News England’s Rugby World Cup Team: Henry Slade & Alex Dombrandt Omitted, Joe Marchant & Theo Dan Included

England’s Rugby World Cup Team: Henry Slade & Alex Dombrandt Omitted, Joe Marchant & Theo Dan Included

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England Rugby World Cup 2023 Squad

Henry Slade, who was brought in as a substitute during England’s 2019 World Cup final defeat to South Africa in Japan, will be missing in the 2023 World Cup.

Rugby World Cup 2023
Hosted by: France Date: 8 September-28 October
Broadcasting: Every match will be aired live on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra, BBC Sounds, and can also be viewed on the Sport Newes Center website and app

Notable omissions from Steve Borthwick’s 33-player squad for the Rugby World Cup in France are Henry Slade and Alex Dombrandt.

Joe Marchant has made the cut, however, there is no room for Exeter’s Henry Slade, 30, who has played in the previous two World Cups.

The Saracens’ 22-year-old hooker Theo Dan, who debuted in Saturday’s preparatory defeat to Wales, has been chosen. Billy Vunipola is the only specialist number eight included.

England’s first match is set against Argentina in Marseille on 9 September.

England Squad:

Forwards: Ollie Chessum (Leicester), Dan Cole (Leicester), Tom Curry (Sale), Theo Dan (Saracens), Ben Earl (Saracens), Ellis Genge (Bristol), Jamie George (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton), Joe Marler (Harlequins), George Martin (Leicester), David Ribbans (Toulon), Bevan Rodd (Sale), Kyle Sinckler (Bristol), Will Stuart (Bath), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Jack Walker (Harlequins), Jack Willis (Toulouse).

Backs: Henry Arundell (Racing 92), Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Saracens), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Sale), Ollie Lawrence (Bath), Max Malins (Bristol), Joe Marchant (Stade Francais), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Freddie Steward (Leicester), Manu Tuilagi (Sale), Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester), Anthony Watson (unattached), Ben Youngs (Leicester).

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Borthwick Faces ‘Extremely Tough Decisions’

“The quality of our broader training squad has led to a number of extremely tough selection decisions,” admitted Borthwick.

“Given the competition for spots over the last eight or more weeks of preparation, some very talented players were unable to make the cut.

“As evidenced by our disappointing 20-9 defeat against Wales in Cardiff last Saturday, we have a series of challenging Test matches throughout August as we continue our preparation for our first Rugby World Cup pool match against a high-performing Argentina side.”

On revealing his team over four weeks before the start of the tournament, Borthwick stated: “We believe that announcing the squad a bit earlier than usual will provide a sense of clarity and certainty to the group, giving the players as much time as possible to bond and develop as a team.”

England – who lost to South Africa in the 2019 final – will also compete against Japan, Chile, and Samoa in the pool stage in France.

The tournament begins on 8 September, with the final on Saturday, 28 October.

‘Bold Move’ to Exclude Slade

Analysis: Chris Jones, BBC rugby union correspondent

Eight years after his unexpected inclusion in the 2015 Rugby World Cup team, Henry Slade now faces the disappointment of exclusion.

It is a bold move. Slade has been a consistent presence in the midfield throughout the last World Cup cycle, but Joe Marchant’s impressive performance against Wales last Saturday and his dynamism and versatility have earned him a spot.

Meanwhile, the team displays a balance of young talent and experience, with Borthwick selecting a substantial core of players who participated in Japan four years ago.

However, while there is depth in certain areas, there are others where it is lacking, placing enormous pressure on players such as Jamie George at hooker, Maro Itoje at lock, and Billy Vunipola at number eight.

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