England’s prospects at the Rugby World Cup have been boosted significantly with power forwards Olli Chessumu and Billy Vunipole both poised to return to action this month. Chessum was under serious scrutiny but has made a remarkable recovery from a serious ankle injury, while Vunipola returned to full training ahead of the opening warm-up against Wales on Saturday.
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Chessum, 22, was one of England’s standout strikers last season until he suffered a dislocation fracture ahead of the final game in Ireland in mid-March. Just over four and a half months later, the tall castle is now in line to secure a spot on the 33-man squad for the Rugby World Cup to be unveiled on Monday.
Now that Vunipola has made a full recovery from two knee surgeries that have ruled him out since April, England are hoping both players will add invaluable strength to a team that will play a key role in the team’s fortunes in France. Ollie is looking really good and he’s really close to a full workout, said attacking coach Richard Wigglesworth, who was Chessum’s head coach at Leicester last season.
Praise for the Incredibly Hardworking Player
“He did incredibly well and worked so hard on rehab. He’s definitely a great character, but he’s also a top notch player that we really want to get in shape. It looks like it’s very close. When he’s in uniform and shooting, he brings an infectious energy with him. He is someone who will keep getting better and better.”
Vunipola, 30, is a far more experienced player, but England would love to see him go all out in the first pool match against Argentina in Marseille on 9 September. “He looks very motivated and has a big impact on training, Wigglesworth said. He showed his class and his form. His training has been changed a little, but not much. He is in most things.
With 41 players vying for 33 positions, there are bound to be some disappointments when the roster is confirmed. Steve Borthwick and his coaches will play their last qualifying game in Cardiff on Saturday night, with Harlequin pairing Markus Smith and Alex Dombrandt among those in a particularly suspenseful expectation. Should England decide to take only two specialist midfielders, Smith’s position would become vulnerable while Vunipola and Tom Willis compete with Dombrandt for the No. 8 pick.
England Vs Wales: A Serious Test Match
As a former international, Wigglesworth knows exactly how members of the minor team will feel: You can’t get the elephant out of the room when the selection gets closer, but he says management doesn’t see Saturday’s game as the final. trial. If you go into it thinking it’s a trial game, both personally and as a team, we won’t succeed.
“It was very clear to us that it was England vs. Wales in Cardiff. This is a test match in itself. Warren Gatland knows how to prepare a team and they have just been to Turkey so they will come back fit and ready to fight. Playing Wales in Cardiff you know you will get some intensity and they will be well prepared. We don’t want to throw someone into a test match and say, Prove that you’re fit. We train in such a way that we find it anyway.”
Wigglesworth also revealed that he wanted to talk to English cricketers about the positive Buzzball spirit that has lit up the Ashes series. I’m intrigued by what they do and how they did it. You want to learn from any sport that does something interesting and they definitely have something. Hopefully at some point we can dig into their brains.
5 England Rugby World Cup stars who were kicked to the curb by Steve Borthwick
England manager Steve Borthwick has carried out a relentless overhaul of the squad since taking office in December. Several players, some of whom were once regulars or even vice-captains under Eddie Jones, have faced an abrupt halt to their international careers. For more to know about England Rugby World Cup Tickets.
#1. Jack Nowell
With an imminent move to France, the Exeter Chiefs airman went from vice-captain in the fall to being completely eliminated from the Six Nations, reportedly without a phone call. Brutal from Steve Borthwick, whose choice, according to Eddie Jones, was heavily influenced by the leaders of the RFU.
Any chance of a recall seemed to vanish in March as Nowell was fined £10,000 by the Rugby Union for criticizing the referees’ decision on Twitter. The 30-year-old accepted his post, damaging the game when he appeared before an independent disciplinary panel.
Nowell said referee Carl Dixon’s decision to give Woodburn his second yellow card was “one of the worst decisions he had ever seen. Later, the winger, who has now confirmed a move to La Rochelle, officially pulled out of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
#2. Sam Simmonds
The Exeter powerhouse began to establish itself as a regular under Jones until his sacking last December. Now he has followed Nowell in withdrawing from the 2023 World Cup. Despite not playing under Borthwick during the 2023 Six Nations, Simmonds spoke openly with the manager and subsequently became unavailable for selection to the 28-player practice squad, according to The Telegraph.
#3. Alex Coles
In the 2021/22 season, Coles donned the captaincy for the first time as he led the team against the London Irish and Harlequins in the Rugby Premier League Cup. A successful campaign (in which the Saints qualified for the Premier League play-offs) ended with Coles making 29 appearances and being named Player of the Season at the club’s annual awards ceremony.
And Coles’ reward for his stellar performances will be a call-up to England and three Red Rose appearances during the 2022 Autumn Series of Nations. However, since Borthwick took charge of the team, Coles has not even been recalled to the practice team.
#4. Zach Mercer
Last fall, Jones convinced Mercer to leave Montpellier and set his sights on a return to England. For the time, however, Mercer must be puzzled as he has expell from Borthwick’s practice squad.
While welcoming his first child, daughter Iris, last weekend Mercer shared his thoughts with The Times about his setback in England. He spoke about a conversation he had with head coach Borthwick and how he dealt with his disappointment.
Of course it was very disappointing. But I am ready and I have the ambition to wear this England jersey again, he said. There were things that Steve wanted that I might not have been able to provide. I don’t know, but I’m not just looking at the Rugby World Cup. Although it would be great to be back in France.
“I know I have many years ahead of me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been tough for 48 hours, but reality kicks in and you’re like, Look, you’ve got a pregnant wife, a beautiful house to move into, real things you need to deal with out.”
#5. George Furbank
Having reached 50 caps for the Saints in 2020/21. Furbank recalled to the England squad to play against Canada in the summer. Before starting in the semi-final against Tonga in the 2021 Autumn Nations Series. A permanent member of the team under Jones. The all-around defender Furbank is another who has seen his participation at Borthwick limited.
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