Rugby World Cup: England's Joe Marler comes out of international retirement

By Chris JonesBBC rugby union correspondent
Joe Marler
Harlequins prop Joe Marler played for the Barbarians against England at Twickenham last month

Joe Marler has come out of international retirement and been named in England's World Cup training squad.

The 29-year-old Harlequins prop retired from England duty in September 2018 having won 59 caps.

But he has reversed that decision and is included in a 35-man training squad for this year's tournament in Japan.

"I saw Joe during the Barbarians week and he indicated that he had a desire to come back," said England head coach Eddie Jones.

"We have since had a couple of chats and we have given him the opportunity to do that. Now it is up to him to show us what he has got."

Four uncapped players are included in the training squad: Gloucester scrum-half Willi Heinz, Northampton flanker Lewis Ludlam, Bath wing Ruaridh McConnochie and Saracens hooker Jack Singleton.

Premiership player of the year Danny Cipriani has also made the cut, while Harlequins prop Kyle Sinckler is recalled after spending a week with his club.

While not named in the 35-man squad, injured trio George Kruis, Jack Nowell and Mako Vunipola will all continue their rehabilitation in camp.

Jones will name his final 31-man World Cup party next month.

"We can't wait to have the full squad in place and to have players competing for those 31 places," he added.

Jones has already jettisoned a handful of experienced players, with Danny Care, Chris Robshaw and Dylan Hartley missing out.

England's most-capped full-back Mike Brown has also been omitted, as has Wasps scrum-half Dan Robson, who made his international debut during the Six Nations.

"World Cup selection is a four-year process. We have looked at the squad carefully, tried to build up a squad that has enough experience, attitude and energy to be winners and I think we have that," Jones said.

"In the process, we have left out some players who can feel unlucky. For those guys who have missed out, the door is never closed but they have just got to be ready, as you never know when the opportunity comes."

England official World Cup training squad

Forwards: Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs), Brad Shields (Wasps), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Jack Singleton (Saracens), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Mark Wilson (Sale Sharks)

Backs: Danny Cipriani (Gloucester Rugby), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), Elliot Daly (Saracens), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Piers Francis (Northampton Saints), Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Spencer (Saracens), Ben Te'o (unattached), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

In camp for rehabilitation: George Kruis (Saracens), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Mako Vunipola (Saracens)


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