Owen Farrell ‘It takes focus to win the World Cup’ – Jones

Owen Farrell ‘It takes focus to win the World Cup’ – Jones

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Owen Farrell Lewis Ludlam

Northampton back row Lewis Ludlam was a surprise addition to the England World Cup squad

England head coach Eddie Jones says there is “no doubt” in his Rugby World Cup squad’s talent, but players need focus to win the tournament.

Jones gave shock call-ups to flanker Lewis Ludlam and uncapped wing Ruaridh McConnochie as he named a 31-man group.

Gloucester scrum-half Willi Heinz, 32, whose England debut came in Sunday’s win against Wales, is also in the squad, but centre Ben Te’o is not.

“The World Cup is about desire,” Jones said.

“The ability to stick at your task and avoid all the distractions. Some people come out of the blue.

“We’ve been lucky enough to find a number of good young players that deserve their selection. We’ve chosen the best 31.”

The World Cup in Japan runs from 20 September to 2 November, with Jones naming his squad weeks in advance of the World Rugby deadline of 8 September.

Versatile back Piers Francis earned a place in the squad at the expense of Te’o, who was involved in an off-field incident at a training camp in Italy.

But Jones refused to confirm whether Te’o’s exclusion from the squad was related to this event.

“I’m not going to go into the reasons why [Ben] is not selected. We’ve had that conversation with Ben and he understands it,” he explained.

“Whether he agrees with it is another matter but we’ve had that discussion with him and he’s just not in our top 31 players at the moment.”

  • Reaction to the squad announcement
  • Anscombe ruled out for Wales

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