BEN TE’O has been overlooked for England’s 31-man World Cup squad in a shock omission by Eddie Jones.
Te’o (pictured) has lost out to Piers Francis among the four centres bound for Japan 2019 despite being an ever-present under Jones when available.
The 32-year-old was involved in a scuffle with Mike Brown during a social event at the squad’s training camp in Treviso a fortnight ago.
Jones said over the weekend that Te’o was still in World Cup contention but the Australian has chosen to leave him out.
Former sevens specialist Ruaridh McConnochie continues a remarkable year by being present as the only uncapped player on the strength of a strong end to the season for Bath.
Flanker Lewis Ludlam, hooker Jack Singleton and scrum-half Willi Heinz made their debuts in Sunday’s rout of Wales and are also picked.
Jones has gambled by taking only two scrum-halves with Heinz providing cover for Ben Youngs, who is first choice in the position.
The decision to pick just five props means Harry Williams misses out, with Kyle Sinckler and Dan Cole travelling as the two tightheads.
Brad Shields will also miss out on the World Cup as he continues his rehabilitation from the foot injury incurred in Treviso.
The outlook on Shields left him with a race against time to board the plane with the rest of the squad on September 8 and Ludlam has been chosen in his place.
England have named their squad almost a month in advance of World Rugby’s deadline.
At a press conference England boss Eddie Jones refused to discuss the reasons behind Ben Te’o’ omission
‘I’m not going to go into reasons why he (Te’o) was not selected,’ he said.
‘We have had that conversation with Ben, he understands it. Whether he agrees with us or not is another matter. He’s not in our top 31 players at the moment.
‘Obviously a number of very disappointed players. We feel for them. They’ve worked hard and they are excellent players.
‘The message we have for them is that they have still got to be ready because the circumstances of the World Cup dictates that you have injuries. They could have opportunities down the track.’
England World Cup squad
Forwards: Dan Cole (Leicester, 86 caps), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter, 12), Tom Curry (Sale, 11), Ellis Genge (Leicester, 10), Jamie George (Saracens, 37), Maro Itoje (Saracens, 27), George Kruis (Saracens, 32), Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 59), Courtney Lawes (Northampton, 72), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton, 1), Joe Marler (Harlequins, 58), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 22), Jack Singleton (Saracens, 1), Sam Underhill (Bath, 9), Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 42), Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 53), Mark Wilson (Newcastle/Sale, 13).
Backs: Joe Cokanasiga (Bath, 5), Elliot Daly (Saracens, 31), Owen Farrell (Saracens, 70), George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 56), Piers Francis (Northampton, 5), Willi Heinz (Gloucester, 1), Jonathan Joseph (Bath, 41), Jonny May (Leicester, 45), Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath, uncapped), Jack Nowell (Exeter, 33), Henry Slade (Exeter, 22), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester, 33), Anthony Watson (Bath, 34), Ben Youngs (Leicester, 86).