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Ben Te’o has been dumped from England’s World Cup squad – a week after being involved in an altercation with a team mate.
The Lions star played 20 times for Eddie Jones in the run up to the tournament, establishing himself as a key member of the squad.
But his part in a fracas with Mike Brown during a team social at last week’s warm-weather camp in Italy appears to have cost him his place.
Piers Francis, who has made just two Test starts, takes the vacant midfield spot in Jones’ 31-man squad for Japan.
But Kent-born Francis is experienced compared to Bath wing Rory McConnochie, who gets the call despite being uncapped and having made just 12 Premiership starts.
Four years ago he was playing fifth tier rugby for Nuneaton. A year later he won an Olympic silver medal playing sevens for Team GB at the 2016 Rio Games.
Aside from Te’o and Brown, who also misses out, the big losers in selection are prop Harry Williams, lock Charlie Ewels and back row Brad Shields. Blindside bolter Lewis Ludlam makes the trip.
Jones, preparing for his fourth World Cup with his fourth different nation, has taken what many will see as a selection gamble by opting for just two players in both scrum-half and fly-half positions.
Willi Heinz, fresh from a 49-minute debut in Sunday’s win over
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