Skip to content

Courtney Lawes, Ben Youngs among 15 players joining England's Rugby World Cup training squad from Northampton and Leicester

Seasoned pros Ben Youngs, Courtney Lawes among 15 players called up to England RWC training camp from beaten Premiership semi-finalists Northampton, Leicester; Players from Saracens, Sale to be added; Ollie Lawrence and Jack Walker drop out injured, but rejoin squad for treatment

England's Courtney Lawes
Image: Courtney Lawes will continue his involvement with the England Squad

Players from Northampton and Leicester, including Courtney Lawes and Ben Youngs, will join the England squad as preparations for this year’s Rugby World Cup continue in Brighton.

Players from the clubs that lost in the Premiership semi-finals are able to link up with the England set-up now their five-week recovery period is over.

Northampton lost to Saracens in their Gallagher Premiership semi-final in May. Second row Lawes, as well as back-row Lewis Ludlam, scrum-half Alex Mitchell, centre Fraser Dingwall, fly-half Fin Smith, wing Tommy Freeman and lock David Ribbans all feature in England's training camp.

Ben Youngs
Image: Highly experienced scrum-half Ben Youngs is also called up, as one of eight Leicester Tigers players

Lawes has previously captained England but only played once for the national team last season and that was an appearance off the bench, due to an injury-hit campaign.

From Leicester, who lost to Sale in their play-off, the highly experienced Youngs, who's represented England 122 times, returns to the international set-up.

Other backs Freddie Steward, Anthony Watson and Guy Porter, as well as another Leicester scrum-half, Jack van Poortvliet have also been named.

Freddie Steward
Image: Leicester and England full-back Freddie Steward has been a key man over the last year or so

Tighthead props Dan Cole and Joe Heyes, and second row George Martin will also continue their involvement with Steve Borthwick's England.

Also See:

London Irish wing Ollie Hassell-Collins, and scrum-halves Harry Randall (Bristol) and Ben Spencer (Bath) have dropped out of the squad, while Harlequins hooker Jack Walker (calf) and Bath centre Ollie Lawrence (knee) are confirmed as having picked up knocks.

Players from Premiership finalists Saracens and Sale, are still to be called up to the training camp.

Borthwick will announce his final World Cup training squad at the end of the month, with the final 33-player group for the tournament to be confirmed on August 7 after the first warm-up match against Wales in Cardiff.

The World Cup itself will begin in September, with England kicking off their Pool D campaign against Argentina in Marseille on Saturday, September 9.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 16: Courtney Lawes of England and teammates celebrate victory with the Ella-Mobbs Cup during the rugby international test match between Australia Wallabies and England at The Sydney Cricket Ground on July 16, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Steven Markham/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)
Image: Lawes is one of seven Northampton Saints players called up by head coach Steve Borthwick

"After an excellent first week's training, we are very much looking forward to being in Brighton," said Borthwick.

"The first phase of our preparation continues to focus on ensuring the players are physically equipped for what we need to do in a World Cup campaign. That means the training will be tough and purposeful. The players are rising to the challenge.

"We'll work hard again this week, and we'll enjoy some time together off the field too - which is also an important part of our preparation."

England's updated 38-player RWC training squad:

Forwards (20): Jamie Blamire (Newcastle), Dan Cole (Leicester), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Tom Dunn (Bath), Charlie Ewels (Bath), Ellis Genge (Bristol), Joe Heyes (Leicester), Ted Hill (Bath), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton), Joe Marler (Harlequins), George Martin (Leicester), Zach Mercer (Montpellier), Beno Obano (Bath), Tom Pearson (London Irish), Val Rapava-Ruskin (Gloucester), David Ribbans (Northampton), Kyle Sinckler (Bristol), Will Stuart (Bath), Sam Underhill (Bath).

Backs (18): Henry Arundell (London Irish), Danny Care (Harlequins), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton), Tommy Freeman (Northampton), Will Joseph (London Irish), Joe Marchant (Harlequins), Jonny May (Gloucester), Alex Mitchell (Northampton), Cadan Murley (Harlequins), Guy Porter (Leicester), Henry Slade (Exeter), Fin Smith (Northampton), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Ben Spencer (Bath), Freddie Steward (Leicester), Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester), Anthony Watson (Leicester), Ben Youngs (Leicester).

Around Sky