Rugby: Experienced centre Ben Te'o left out of England World Cup squad, Owen Farrell named captain

In this photo taken on March 18, 2017, England's head coach Eddie Jones (left) stands by England's Ben Te'o ahead of the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and England at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
In this photo taken on March 18, 2017, England's head coach Eddie Jones (left) stands by England's Ben Te'o ahead of the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and England at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - England coach Eddie Jones left experienced centre Ben Te'o out of his 31-man World Cup squad on Monday (Aug 12) and included uncapped winger Ruaridh McConnochie.

Jones opted for only two scrumhalves, the experienced Ben Youngs and rookie Willi Heinz, for the tournament, which starts in Japan next month.

Flyhalf Owen Farrell was named captain and McConnochie is the only uncapped player in the squad.

Eight players named were from Premiership champions Saracens including lock Maro Itoje, number eight Billy Vunipola and prop Mako Vunipola.

Flanker Lewis Ludlam and hooker Jack Singleton, who won their first caps alongside Heinz in England's win over Wales in a warm-up match on Sunday, also made the cut.

But there was no place for Te'o, who was excluded from the final week of an England training camp after being involved in an altercation with team-mate Mike Brown.

Although teams have until Sept 8 to submit their squads to World Rugby, Jones decided to name his early.

"We have taken the decision to go early because of what we learnt from previous campaigns," Jones said in a statement.

"We want the squad to know early and now we can get on and be the best-prepared England side there has ever been, ready to win the World Cup.

"A lot of good players have missed out, we feel for them, I feel for them personally. The World Cup is an incredible tournament where opportunities can present themselves and all those players who have missed out have been told they have to be ready."

England play three more warm-up matches - away to Wales and home to Ireland and Italy - before heading to Japan, where they kick off their campaign against Tonga in Pool C on Sept 22.