Champion Rutherford pulls out of Games
Greg Rutherford will not defend his long jump title at this year's Commonwealth Games due to what he perceives to be a lack of preparation.
Rutherford topped the podium in Glasgow 2014, bettering the silver he earned at Delhi four years earlier, but an ankle injury forced him to miss last summer's World Championships and he underwent surgery to correct a hernia problem in August.
Having taken some time away from competitive athletics, the 31-year-old, also a gold medallist at Olympic, World and European level, feels he would not be sufficiently ready to compete on Australia's Gold Coast in April.
He commented: "Withdrawing from Team England is not a decision that has been easy for me to make.
"However, in previous years I've attended major championships without a good training block behind me and my performance has suffered as a result.
"I really would have loved to have been involved with the team. The Commonwealth Games have been brilliant over the years for me and my two medals from three Games have been highlights for me.
"I am planning on easing myself back into competition, possibly indoors, and then building to the summer season.
"I want to wish the team all the very best out in Australia."
Rutherford's place in Team England's 75-strong athletics squad has been taken by 400 metres hurdler Jacob Paul, who claimed silver in last year's British Championships.