England announces 38-Player squad for Brighton training camp

Stephen Borthwick England Rugby head coach
Stephen Borthwick England Rugby head coach

England's preparations for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France have taken another step forward as head coach Steve Borthwick revealed an expanded 38-player training squad for their second camp in Brighton.

Notably, players from Gallagher Premiership finalists Sale Sharks and Saracens were not included in the squad, which convened on the South Coast on June 19.

Reflecting on the team's progress, Borthwick expressed enthusiasm for their upcoming training stint in Brighton, saying, "After an excellent first week's training, we are very much looking forward to being in Brighton." He also acknowledged the arrival of players from Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers, who will now integrate themselves into the squad, while players from Sale Sharks and Saracens are set to join in two weeks.

The initial phase of England's preparation is primarily focused on ensuring the players are physically ready for the demands of a World Cup campaign. As a result, the training sessions will be challenging and purposeful, and Borthwick commended the players for their commitment to meeting these demands. He emphasized the importance of team bonding off the field, stating, "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."

In terms of injuries, Ollie Lawrence of Bath Rugby and Jack Walker of Harlequins have re-joined the squad for treatment following knee and calf injuries, respectively, sustained during training at the Honda England Rugby Performance Centre last week.

The 38-player training squad comprises 20 forwards and 18 backs:
Forwards (20) 
Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons) 
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers) 
Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins)
Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby) 
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)
Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears)
Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers) 
Ted Hill (Bath Rugby)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
George Martin (Leicester Tigers)
Zach Mercer (Montpellier Hérault Rugby) 
Beno Obano (Bath Rugby) 
Tom Pearson (London Irish) 
Val Rapava-Ruskin (Gloucester Rugby)
David Ribbans (Northampton Saints) 
Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)
Backs (18) 
Henry Arundell (London Irish)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby) 
Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints)
Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints)
Will Joseph (London Irish)
Joe Marchant (Harlequins)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)
Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints)
Cadan Murley (Harlequins)
Guy Porter (Leicester Tigers)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Fin Smith (Northampton Saints)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers)
Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers)
Anthony Watson (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers), and Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs) will continue their rehabilitation from injuries while remaining in the camp.

England's Summer Series matches kick off with a game against Wales at the Principality Stadium on August 5, followed by a return fixture at Twickenham Stadium on August 12. The team will then travel to Dublin to face Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on August 19 before returning to Twickenham for a match against Fiji on August 26. Tickets for the matches can be purchased on Englandrugby.com, and all games will be broadcast live on Amazon Prime Video.

The final selection of England's 33-player Rugby World Cup squad will be announced by Steve Borthwick on August 7.