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England World Cup squad winners and losers

England announced their 31-man World Cup squad on Thursday lunchtime. Here Press Association Sport examines the winners and losers after eight players were told they would not be involved in the global showpiece on home soil.

Winners -

SAM BURGESS: Critics - among them Will Carling - argue that Burgess has been rushed into England's World Cup squad too soon, but the management have been swayed by his destructive defence and leadership.

HENRY SLADE: A triumph for artistry over brute force, Slade's inclusion looked extremely doubtful only last week but the Exeter playmaker's ingenuity against France at Twickenham has proved decisive.

BEN MORGAN: Proved his fitness in training this week having played just 40 minutes since breaking his leg in January. Inevitably looked off the pace in the 19-14 victory over France and England will be hoping he starts firing as soon as possible.

Losers -

LUTHER BURRELL: Will feel aggrieved to have lost out to Burgess. Told his World Cup audition was the clash with France in Paris, but the powerful Northampton centre was unable to get involved with his pack going backwards.

DANNY CIPRIANI: Cipriani could have done little more to play his way into the squad after producing an inspired cameo from the bench in Paris, but his path has been blocked by more established choices at fly-half and full-back.

NICK EASTER: Another to shine from the bench as England went down 25-20 in the French capital, Easter's experience and nous would have been useful at the World Cup but he has lost out to Morgan.


From Belfast Telegraph