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Saints trio named in England's official Rugby World Cup squad

Northampton Saints trio Piers Francis, Courtney Lawes and Lewis Ludlam have all secured a spot on the plane to Japan to represent England at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Head coach Eddie Jones has today confirmed his official 31-man squad to travel to The Land of the Rising Sun, with the tournament beginning next month.

The squad of 31 players have over 1,000 caps with 17 having played in at least one of the previous Rugby World Cups.

“We want the squad to know early and now we can get on and be the best prepared England side there has ever been, ready to win the World Cup.”

Eddie Jones, England head coach

The 2019 edition of the tournament will be the third for Saints lock Lawes, while Francis and Ludlam – who both impressed for the Red Rose in a 33-19 triumph over Wales at Twickenham on Sunday – are included for their first World Cup experience.

Jones said: “Today is another step in the progress towards the Rugby World Cup. We have taken the decision to go early because of what we learned from previous campaigns.

“We want the squad to know early and now we can get on and be the best prepared England side there has ever been, ready to win the World Cup.

“Every warm-up game is an opportunity to improve our game fitness, our team cohesion, and our tactical adaptability. Each game for us will have a specific purpose.”

England will begin their Rugby World Cup campaign in Japan against Tonga in Sapporo (22 September, KO 11:15am UK time) before playing USA Rugby in Kobe (26 September, KO 11:45am UK time), Argentina in Tokyo (5 October, KO 09:00am UK time) and France in Yokohama (12 October, KO 09:15am UK time).

England’s official Rugby World Cup squad

Forwards
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 86 caps)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 12 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 11 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 10 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 37 caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 27 caps)
George Kruis (Saracens, 32 caps)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 59 caps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 72 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 1 cap)

Joe Marler (Harlequins, 58 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 22 caps)
Jack Singleton (Saracens, 1 cap)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 42 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 53 caps)
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons / Sale Sharks, 13 caps)

Backs
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 5 caps)
Elliot Daly (Saracens, 31 caps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 70 caps)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 56 caps)
Piers Francis (Northampton Saints, 5 caps)
Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 1 cap)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 41 caps)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 45 caps)
Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 33 caps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 22 caps)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 33 caps)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 34 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 86 caps)