Former Osprey Sam Underhill Left Out Of England World Cup Plans

TEDDINGTON, ENGLAND - JULY 03: Sam Underhill of England releases a pass during a training session at The Lensbury on July 03, 2023 in Teddington, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Former Osprey Sam Underhill Left Out Of England World Cup Plans

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By David Williams

Former Ospreys forward Sam Underhill has been left out of the updated England training squad as head coach Steve Borthwick steps up preparations for the Rugby World Cup.

The Bath back row, who started the final against South Africa four years ago, was one of two men named in the initial 41-strong party who were omitted when Borthwick gathered his troops together at the Honda England Rugby Performance Centre, Pennyhill Park, on Monday evening.

Sale loose head prop Bevan Rodd was the other name missing from the original list, and while his absence may not be the biggest surprise, that of Underhill may raise eyebrows despite the level of competition in the back row.

It is understood that neither man is injured.

The 21 forwards selected include 33-year-old Harlequins prop Joe Marler, who last played for England 18 months ago.

Marler revealed earlier this month he made himself available after being assured by Borthwick that he had a chance of making the final 33.

The group of 18 backs is packed with familiar names with Owen Farrell, George Ford and Manu Tuilagi among them.

Ollie Chessum, Ollie Lawrence, Mako Vunipola, Billy Vunipola and Jack Walker will also join up with the squad to continue their rehabilitation.

Borthwick is due to announce his final squad for the tournament in France on August 7.

Full England training squad:

Forwards: Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Theo Dan (Saracens), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Ben Earl (Saracens), Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears), Jamie George (Saracens), Jonny Hill (Sale Sharks), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints) Joe Marler (Harlequins), George Martin (Leicester Tigers), Tom Pearson (Northampton Saints), Val Rapava-Ruskin (Gloucester Rugby), David Ribbans (Toulon), Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears), Will Stuart (Bath Rugby), Jack Willis (Toulouse), Tom Willis (Saracens).

Backs: Henry Arundell (Racing 92), Danny Care (Harlequins), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), Elliot Daly (Saracens), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Sale Sharks), Max Malins (Bristol Bears), Joe Marchant (Stade Francais), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Cadan Murley (Harlequins), Guy Porter (Leicester Tigers), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers), Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks), Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers), Anthony Watson (unattached), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

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