England’s official 33-player squad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France have been training at the Lensbury in Teddington just a month before their opening match against Argentina.
The Lensbury, on the banks of the River Thames, now provides state of the art training facilities for top sporting clubs including a special weights room and perfect pitch conditions.
The Lionesses and Manchester United have also been recent guest before big matches.
Members of the squad have mingled happily with members of the Lensbury as well as posing for selfies, signing shirts and autographs.
Owen Farrell will captain England in his third Rugby World Cup with Ellis Genge and Courtney Lawes named as vice captains.
The squad of 33 players – which is made up of 19 forwards and 14 backs – totals over 1,400 England appearances combined, with an average age of 27 years old. 17 players have previous Rugby World Cup experience.
Ben Youngs, Dan Cole, and Courtney Lawes will compete in their fourth Rugby World Cup. Youngs is England men’s most capped player with 122 appearances.
Theo Dan is included having won his first cap against Wales on Saturday in Cardiff. 20-year old wing Henry Arundell is the youngest member of the squad.
“Rugby World Cups involve unique challenges in terms of the demands on players, the need for squad flexibility and the limited number of squad places available,” said Borthwick.
“France 2023 is no different, but I am confident we have selected a squad of 33 that is well able to meet those challenges and leave us best placed to be at our most competitive in this exciting tournament.
“There have been a number of very difficult selection decisions to make, given the quality of our wider training squad. Some very good players have missed out on selection such has been the competition for places over the last eight weeks and more of preparation.
“As Saturday’s game in Cardiff proved, we have a series of demanding Test matches through August as we continue that preparation towards our opening Rugby World Cup pool game against an in-form Argentina side.”
On announcing his squad in early August, Borthwick added: “We believe that announcing the squad a little earlier than otherwise might have been the case, brings a clarity and certainty to the group, allowing the players as much time as possible to settle and develop as a squad.”
England face Wales (12 August), Ireland (19 August) and Fiji (26 August) in the Summer Nations Series before the Rugby World Cup starts.
“We look forward to welcoming Wales to Twickenham this weekend in front of our home support. There can be no doubt that it will be another hard-fought encounter.”
England begin their Rugby World Cup campaign in France against Argentina in Marseille (Saturday 9 September, kick off 2000 BST) before playing Japan in Nice (Sunday 17 September, kick off 2000 BST), Chile in Lille (Saturday 23 September, kick off 1645 BST) and Samoa in Lille (Saturday 7 October, kick off 1645 BST).
England’s official 2023 Rugby World Cup squad
Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 9 caps)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 100 caps)***
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 45 caps)*
Theo Dan (Saracens, 1 cap)
Ben Earl (Saracens, 15 caps)
Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 49 caps)*
Jamie George (Saracens, 77 caps)**
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 67 caps)*
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 97 caps)***
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 20 caps)*
Joe Marler (Harlequins, 79 caps)**
George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)
David Ribbans (Toulon, 6 caps)
Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 3 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 62 caps)*
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 26 caps)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 68 caps) **
Jack Walker (Harlequins, 3 caps)
Jack Willis (Toulouse, 10 caps)
Henry Arundell (Racing 92, 7 caps)
Danny Care (Harlequins, 88 caps)*
Elliot Daly (Saracens, 57 caps)*
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 106 caps)**
George Ford (Sale Sharks, 82 caps)**
Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 11 caps)
Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 19 caps)
Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 16 caps)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 22 caps)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 23 caps)
Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 51 caps)**
Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 13 caps)
Anthony Watson (unattached, 55 caps)**
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 122 caps)***