Stevens returns for England

Prop joins uncapped Tuilagi, Waldrom, Botha, Simpson and Sharples

By Tony Curtis - Twitter: @SkySportsTC.   Last Updated: 20/06/11 10:30am

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England have recalled Matt Stevens for their 45-man Rugby World Cup training squad.

The Saracens prop has been in superb form since returning to action in January after a two-year ban for testing positive for cocaine.

Stevens played a key role as Saracens won the Aviva Premiership title, while he impressed as the Saxons retained the Churchill Cup.

"The camp is going to be intense and competitive, as you would expect leading up to a World Cup, but all the players are ready for it."
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And he joins the uncapped Manu Tuilagi, Thomas Waldrom, Mouritz Botha, Joe Simpson and Charlie Sharples in the training squad.

Tuilagi and Waldrom are rewarded for superb seasons which saw them named the Rugby Players' Association Player and Aviva Premiership Young Player of the Year respectively - while South Africa-born Botha comes in for the first time since completing his qualification period.

Intense

Saracens scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth, Bath hooker Lee Mears, Harlequins wing Ugo Monye, and Gloucester Rugby wing James Simpson-Daniel have also been included alongside all of the 2011 RBS Six Nations squad.

England manager Martin Johnson said: "Every one of these players has the chance to be in that final 30 going to New Zealand.

"The camp is going to be intense and competitive, as you would expect leading up to a World Cup, but all the players are ready for it.

"We have guys such as Lewis Moody, Jonny Wilkinson and Mike Tindall who have been in this situation before but also a lot of players who won't have experienced a World Cup training camp.

"It's now up to all of them to set down their marker over the next 10 weeks before we head to New Zealand."

England's 45-man Rugby World Cup training squad - Forwards: Mouritz Botha (Saracens), George Chuter (Leicester Tigers), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers), Paul Doran-Jones (Northampton Saints), Nick Easter (Harlequins), Hendre Fourie (Sale Sharks), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Unattached), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Lee Mears (Bath Rugby), Lewis Moody (Bath Rugby), Tom Palmer (Stade Francais), Tim Payne (London Wasps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Simon Shaw (London Wasps), Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks), Matt Stevens (Saracens), Steve Thompson (London Wasps), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Joe Worsley (London Wasps).
Backs: Delon Armitage (London Irish), Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints), Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins), Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Riki Flutey (London Wasps), Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), Shontayne Hape (London Irish), Charlie Hodgson (Saracens), Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby), Joe Simpson (London Wasps), James Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester Rugby), David Strettle (Saracens), Mike Tindall (Gloucester Rugby), Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens), Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

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