Marler and Care included in England squad for World Cup preparation camp
In a surprising move from coach Steve Borthwick, prop Joe Marler and scrum-half Danny Care have been selected to join the 28-man England squad for their first World Cup preparation camp. Marler, who hasn’t played since 2021, will be looking to prove his worth while Harlequins teammate Care’s most recent cap came under Eddie Jones last summer.
Bath scrum-half Ben Spencer has also been given another chance as he returns to the team after being overlooked since 2019.
The squad is the first of three that will be named by coach Steve Borthwick before the four-test summer series starts against Wales on August 5th. On August 7th, he will announce his final 33-man squad for the World Cup which begins on September 8th.
Highly Ranked Players Left Out Of Squad
In a controversial decision, players from Leicester Tigers, Northampton Saints, Sale Sharks and Saracens – all of whom were involved in last month’s Premiership semi-finals and finals – were not included in this initial selection. This leaves many wondering what role club form plays when it comes to international selection.
New Faces In The Squad
Young forwards Alex Dombrandt and Tom Pearson are two new faces that have caught everyone’s attention due to their impressive performances during Quins’ dramatic title-winning season. After being deemed surplus at Bath earlier this year Ellis Genge has made an astonishing comeback earning himself a place in the squad.
While Borthwick has opted for an experienced backline that includes the likes of Jonny May and Henry Slade, he has also chosen some promising youngsters such as Cadan Murley and Ollie Hassell-Collins who will be looking to make a name for themselves on this international stage.
Injuries And Ruled Out Players
Lock Joe Launchbury was not considered due to a minor injury while Montpellier-bound number eight Sam Simmonds ruled himself out of contention for World Cup selection. Number eight Billy Vunipola, lock Ollie Chessum and hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie will attend the camp as they continue their recoveries from injury.
“We are excited to get into camp and begin the first phase of our preparations,” Borthwick said. “We have lots to get through before our first summer series fixture in August against Wales in Cardiff, so the hard work starts now. We are looking forward to it.”