England boss stands by Cup choices

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Martin Johnson’s controversial decision to name a multi-national World Cup training squad was criticised today by one of the biggest casualties of the policy.

Luke Narraway captained England against the Barbarians at Twickenham less than a month ago but could not break into a 45-man party that contained 13 overseas-born players.

Narraway missed out to Leicester’s New Zealand-born number eight Thomas Waldrom, who discovered he was eligible for England midway through the season.

The England squad Johnson named features players born in nine different countries.

“There are a lot of good players coming through the academies,” said Johnson.

“If you want to play for England, play well in the Premiership and be good enough to come in here because it is a competitive place.”

England’s 45-man Rugby World Cup training squad:

forwards: Botha (Saracens), Chuter (Leicester Tigers), Cole (Leicester Tigers), Corbisiero (London Irish), Croft (Leicester Tigers), Deacon (Leicester Tigers), Doran-Jones (Northampton Saints), Easter (Harlequins), Fourie (Sale Sharks), Hartley (Northampton Saints), Haskell (Unattached), Lawes (Northampton Saints), Mears (Bath Rugby), Moody (Bath Rugby), Palmer (Stade Francais), Payne (London Wasps), Robshaw (Harlequins), Shaw (London Wasps), Sheridan (Sale Sharks), Stevens (Saracens), Thompson (London Wasps), Waldrom (Leicester Tigers), Wilson (Bath Rugby), Wood (Northampton Saints), Worsley (London Wasps).

BACKS: Armitage (London Irish), Ashton (Northampton Saints), Banahan (Bath Rugby), Care (Harlequins), Cueto (Sale Sharks), Flood (Leicester Tigers), Flutey (London Wasps), Foden (Northampton Saints), Hape (London Irish), Hodgson (Saracens), Monye (Harlequins), Sharples (Gloucester Rugby), Simpson (London Wasps), Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester Rugby), Strettle (Saracens), Tindall (Gloucester Rugby), Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Wigglesworth (Saracens), Wilkinson (Toulon), Youngs (Leicester).