Ashton out as England cut seven from World Cup training squad

Fri Aug 7, 2015 2:58pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Saracens winger Chris Ashton was one of seven players cut from England's World Cup training squad on Friday after head coach Stuart Lancaster trimmed his side to 39 players.

Fellow wingers Marland Yarde (Harlequins) and Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath) also miss out, along with scrum-half Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints) and center Kyle Eastmond (Bath).

Wasps prop Matt Mullan and Gloucester flanker Matt Kvesic are the two forwards dropped following England's return from a two-week training camp in Denver.

"It has been difficult to narrow down the squad as everyone has contributed and given their all," Lancaster told the RFU website.

"But what I have said to those guys who are not coming back in on Sunday is that the door is not closed by any means.

"Overall we are in good shape. Nick Easter and Ben Morgan are now fit and we want to give them both opportunities to train fully and prove their form and fitness next week."

England play the first of three World Cup warm-up games when they face France at Twickenham on Aug. 15.

The final 31-man squad has to be named by Aug. 31 before the World Cup starts at Twickenham on Sept. 18 when England play Fiji.


England's Chris Ashton celebrates scoring a try during their international rugby union match against Argentina at Twickenham in London November 9, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth