England Rugby World Cup squad winners and losers

Worcester Warriors centre Ben Te'o started for the British & Irish Lions in 2017, but now finds himself cut adrift and omitted of England's Rugby World Cup squad. David Rogers/Getty Images

We now know the 31-man squad England will take to the 2019 Rugby World Cup, an announcement that brings with it tears and jubilation. For the 31 delighted and on the plane to Japan, there will be a number left who will be wondering exactly where they went wrong in their quest to make the final party.

Here we look over the winners and losers from England's squad announcement:


Ruaridh McConnochie:

Five years ago, McConnochie was playing for Nuneaton, in the fifth tier of English rugby. Then he was fast-tracked into the Engalnd Sevens programme. It was only last season he made his top-flight debut in XVs, with six tries for Bath.

This has been some rise in his star. Head coach Eddie Jones has long spoken about the need for a player boasting X-factor-esque qualities, similar to the impact Nehe Milner-Skudder made for the All Blacks in the 2015 World Cup. McConnochie fits this mould but it waits to be seen how he will fare at Test level. He was meant to make his international debut against Wales at the weekend, but missed out with a hip injury. He has now been given the opportunity to shine at a World Cup but he will have to hit the ground running.

Willi Heinz:

Heinz made his Test debut against Wales on Sunday and Jones fast-tracked his responsibilities to include the vice-captaincy duties. The New Zealand-born Gloucester scrum-half has been superb for his club, but his lack of Test experience means he is firmly in the 'bolter' category for this squad.

Heinz has been preferred over Danny Care and Richard Wigglesworth -- both of whom who have made a number of appearances under Jones. And then there is Ben Spencer, who featured in this year's Six Nations, while Jack Maunder and the injured Dan Robson also miss out. It's a bold shout to take only two scrum-halves.

Lewis Ludlam:

The back-row has seen a number of combinations come and go but Ludlam has timed his run perfectly. He made his debut against Wales on Sunday and boasts impressive versatility as he is able to cover all three back-row positions. Jones said Ludlam was a "good uncomplicated player. Just does his job, carries hard, tackles hard, cleans out hard."

Jack Nowell:

Nowell is one of the northern hemisphere's most lethal backs, but he is still recovering from the injury he sustained in this year's Gallagher Premiership final. The ankle injury required surgery and it is understood he is unlikely to feature in any of their pre-World Cup matches. Jones has great belief in Nowell's talents -- even weighing him up as an option at outside centre -- and will be keeping everything crossed he is fit for their competition opener against Tonga on Sept. 22.


Brad Shields:

Shields for so long looked like the coming man for this World Cup, with a huge deal made over Wasps signing him and his inclusion in the squad for the 2018 South Africa tour. But he picked up a foot ligament injury last month and will now watch the World Cup from his sofa.

Ben Te'o:

It is still unsure exactly what happened in the reported altercation between Te'o and Brown in Treviso in what was his second off-field indiscretion while on England time. He has featured prominently under Jones, frequently used as a midfield battering ram and is a surprise omission from this squad. Two years ago he was starting a Test for the British & Irish Lions but it looks like Jones has preferred the playmaking abilities of Piers Francis over Te'o's ball-carrying.

Harry Williams:

It's been a bold call from Jones to only take two tight-heads. Lose one with a short-term injury while in Japan and the starting tight-head will be forced to play the full 80 minutes. Williams can feel hard done by, with squads usually featuring a full trio of tight-heads, and his omission comes having featured for England against Wales on Sunday.