Northampton flanker Lewis Ludlam and uncapped Bath wing Ruaridh McConnochie have earned shock call-ups to England’s Rugby World Cup squad, with centre Ben Te’o a glaring omission.
The inexperienced pair are included in coach Eddie Jones’ 31-man group, along with another Test rookie in Gloucester scrum-half Willie Heinz.
Te’o was involved in an off-field incident at the training camp in Italy.
Versatile back Piers Francis is included at his expense.
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The World Cup in Japan runs from 20 September to 2 November.
Jones named his squad weeks in advance of the World Rugby deadline of 8 September.
“We have taken the decision to go early because of what we learned from previous campaigns,” he said.
“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.”
More to follow