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Cipriani Earns England Call-Up

Gloucester fly-half Danny Cipriani is among the players to be added to England’s squad for their second week of training

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(Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Gloucester out-half Danny Cipriani has been included among the 31 players to attend England’s second training camp next week.

The camp will take place between June 30th and July 4th at the Lensbury Hotel, with head coach Eddie Jones set to confirm his official World Cup training squad on the final day.

Cipriani has been excluded from England squads for some time now due to off-field issues, however, there have been calls among rugby fans for this year’s Premiership Players Player of the Year and Player of the Year to be brought back into the fold.

The squad have been training for the past week, with Harlequins duo Kyle Sinckler and Marcus Smith being sent back to the club.

Jones is happy with what he has seen and is also impressed by the conditions that returning players are coming back in.

“It has been a really positive week. We have worked on our fundamentals of the game, a little bit of physical conditioning and I’m really pleased with the attitude of the players. They have all come back from their leave in excellent condition and the best I have seen in the time I have been with England,” he said.

As well as Cipriani fellow Gloucester men Willi Heinz and Ollie Thorley along with Northampton pair Piers Francis and Courtney Lawes join the squad.

However, the Exeter Chiefs and Saracens contingent will not be added to the squad until they have completed their mandatory five-week rest period which concludes this week.

“Next week we will add some players and be looking to improve our physical conditioning, the ability to understand how we want to play the game and start to increase the pressure at training. We have a couple of players going back to their clubs as we feel it is in their best interests in terms of the World Cup to do that, and we will consider their participation in the squad further down the track,” he added.

Jack Nowell, George Kruis and Mako Vunipola are all in the camp continuing their rehabilitation from their respective injuries.

England kick-off their World Cup warm-up games with a double-header against Wales, home and away on August 11th and 17th respectively. Before they face Ireland at Twickenham on the 24th and Italy in Newcastle on September 6th.

The squad will travel to Treviso for a heat camp before the first three matches and for a week leading up to the Italian game before jetting off to Japan for the World Cup.

Check Out the Full 31-Man Squad Below.

Forwards

Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)

Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)

Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins)

Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby)

Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)

Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)

Joe Launchbury (Wasps)

Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)

Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints)

Val Rapava Ruskin (Gloucester Rugby)

Nick Schonert (Worcester Warriors)

Brad Shields (Wasps)

Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors)

Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)

Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)

Backs

Mike Brown (Harlequins)

Danny Cipriani (Gloucester Rugby)

Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby)

Elliot Daly (Wasps)

George Ford (Leicester Tigers)

Piers Francis (Northampton Saints)

Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby)

Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)

Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)

Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby)

Dan Robson (Wasps)

Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)

Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby)

Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)

Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)

Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

*In for medical treatment

George Kruis (Saracens)

Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)

Mako Vunipola (Saracens)

International

England’s Final November Test Confirmed

England have announced their fourth and final opponent of their November series this year

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

England have confirmed that Tonga will be their fourth opponent in their November series this year.

The game will take place at Twickenham on Saturday November 21st at 15:15 in what will be the third of their four tests. 

It will be the fourth meeting of the two sides, but their first outside of a Rugby World Cup. They last played against one another last year at the World Cup in Japan, when England won as they have done on the other previous two occasions. 

Before the two teams meet England will take on the All Blacks on November 7th and then Argentina on the 14th. 

While after the Tongan encounter they face another southern hemisphere team in Australia on the 28th in the final of their Quilter Internationals for 2020. 

Those tests could go a long way to deciding England’s seeding in the draw for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, with the draw set to take place at some point in November. 

Before then the English will be focusing on the Six Nations, where they remain in title contention heading into the last two rounds. 

Next up for Eddie Jones’ side is a clash with Wales, however, their final game against Italy in Rome is under threat due to the Coronavirus outbreak within the country.

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Rugby Australia Claim Fox Sports Haven’t Walked Away

Last week it was reported that Fox Sports are set to end their 25-year long relationship with Australian Rugby, but Rugby Australia have now said otherwise

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(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle has claimed that Fox Sports haven’t walked away from the Wallabies and believes they could continue their relationship into the future.

Last week it was reported that the media organisation were set to end their 25-year relationship with Rugby Australia, but despite not having come to a deal that suits all Castle’s believes they will bid for rights next month. 

“We went through a negotiating process with them (Fox Sports) through their exclusive negotiating period. Unfortunately we couldn’t get to a place we were both comfortable with. So now we’re in tender and we would expect that as a market process they would step into that process,” she said. 

Reports state that Fox Sports had ended their relationship with Rugby Australia after the two bodies failed to find common ground on a deal between 2021 and 2025. 

Rugby Australia and Castle are set to make a historic move next month when they bring the broadcast rights to the market for the first time since the professional era began, but as stated above she is confident of an agreement between the two either way. 

There is a fear among many that Australia’s struggling Super Rugby sides, three of which remain without a win so far this season, will make it harder for the organisation to get a good deal over the line. 

However, all will become clearer by next month and Castle and co will be hoping that they can get the best deal possible.

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Ireland Climb in Latest World Rankings

Ireland have had the biggest boost in the latest World Rugby Rankings ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup draw later this year

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(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Ireland have leapfrogged Wales in the latest World Rugby Rankings of the the 2023 Rugby World Cup draw in November of this year.

The boys in green have taken over the No 4 spot in the rankings following their 24-14 win over Wales in the Six Nations over the weekend, with their opponents dropping down to fifth. 

It is a major boost for the Irish and gives them something to hold on to heading into the rest of this year’s fixtures as they are now currently in the top seeds ahead of the draw for the pool stages of France 2023. 

World Rugby announced recently that they will hold the draw later this year meaning that teams will have less time to climb the rankings than last time around when they had 18 months between the previous World Cup and the draw for the next one. 

A total of twelve teams will head into the draw as seeds in three brackets with the top four in the rankings being first seeds, meaning as of now Wales would be second seeds along with France, Australia and Japan. 

While Scotland, Argentina, Italy and Fiji are in the third bracket, with the remainder of the teams to be decided through different qualifiers over the next three years. 

Elsewhere in the rankings Georgia have moved up ahead of Italy, following the former’s latest two defeats in the Six Nations, while the biggest risers have been Portugal, who have moved from 22nd to 20th, but Russia have dived from 20th to 25th. 

Ireland will be hoping to continue their perfect start to the Six Nations campaign when they take on the third-ranked team England away from home, whom they may look to overtake in the rankings before the draw. 

It is certainly heating up between the Six Nations teams as they try to be the best-placed behind South Africa and New Zealand, who take the first and second spots, but won’t play until the summer.

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