Dylan Hartley has been left out of England's Rugby World Cup training squad as the hooker continues to struggle with a knee problem.

England co-captain Hartley has not played since December and the Northampton Saints man's prolonged period of inactivity appears to have scuppered his hopes of featuring in Japan later this year.

Flanker and former England skipper Chris Robshaw and scrum-half Danny Care are other high-profile omissions.

Alex Dombrandt, Lewis Ludlam, Ruaridh McConnochie and Val Rapava Ruskin have been called up to the senior squad for the first time.

The 29-man party does not include any players involved in the Premiership semi-finals, with those from Gloucester and Northampton to join the camp next week.

Players from champions Saracens and runners-up Exeter Chiefs will then come into the reckoning when Eddie Jones names his final training party on July 4.

On Wednesday, Exeter's Jack Nowell was backed to recover from ankle surgery in time to feature at the World Cup by Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter.

George Kruis and Mako Vunipola will report for medical treatment when the squad gather for a week at Pennyhill Park and the Lensbury on June 30.

 

England training squad:

Forwards

Dan Cole, Tom Curry, Alex Dombrandt, Tom Dunn, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Joe Launchbury, Lewis Ludlam, Val Rapava Ruskin, Nick Schonert, Brad Shields, Kyle Sinckler, Jack Singleton, Sam Underhill, Mark Wilson.

Backs

Chris Ashton, Mike Brown, Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph, Jonny May, Ruaridh McConnochie, Dan Robson, Marcus Smith, Ben Te'o, Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs.

In for medical treatment

George Kruis and Mako Vunipola.

England scrum-half Danny Care has signed a new two-year deal with Harlequins.

The 32-year-old joined the London club from Leeds in 2006 and has gone on to make over 250 appearances for Quins, scoring 76 tries in that time.

As well as winning the Premiership and European Challenge Cup during his stay at The Stoop, Care has become England's most capped scrum-half, playing in 84 Test matches since his 2008 debut.

Harlequins Head of Rugby Paul Gustard said: "Danny epitomises all that is good about Harlequins and I know everyone at the club joins me in congratulating him on his new contract.

"Danny offers something different in every match we play and he is a player that you never want to come up against. There are very few players in the world that have his talent allied to his level of consistency in performance.

"He has a huge part to play in our quest for future honours. He continues to impress, innovate and excite. He continues to bring energy, love and support and has been exceptional for us this season in all aspects of his play."

Joe Cokanasiga scored a debut try as England overcame an almighty scare to fight back and beat Japan 35-15 at Twickenham.

Eddie Jones challenged a much-changed team to "smash" his former side, but England were in danger of being humiliated when they trailed 15-10 at half-time on Saturday.

An enterprising Japan team were great value for their lead, Ryoto Nakamura and Michael Leitch scoring first-half tries, with England disjointed after Jones made 11 alterations to his starting line-up following the defeat to New Zealand.

Danny Care's early try had put England in front but they lacked cohesion in a poor first-half display before raising their game following the introduction of Owen Farrell at the interval.

Mark Wilson's first international try put them back in front, then Cokanasiga and Dylan Hartley went over as England finally clicked into gear with a clash against Australia to come next weekend.

George Ford, captain for his 50th cap, scored 12 points with the boot and Elliot Daly was on target with a long-range penalty in a first half which Japan dominated, but they were ultimately emphatically beaten.

England took just three minutes to take the lead with a blistering counter-attack, Daly, Cokanasiga and Jamie George combining down the left flank and Care darting away for an opening try after Yu Tamura failed to find touch.

Japan applied sustained pressure in a brilliant response, Tamura getting them on the board from the tee after they had opted against shots at goal in favour of set-pieces when scenting a try.

The Brave Blossoms were rampant and capitalised on their numerical advantage with George in the sin-bin for going off his feet after a careless pass from Care was intercepted.

Nakamura took a fine pass from Fumiaki Tanaka to burst through and go under the posts as England were caught out from a scrum and although Daly levelled with a long-range penalty, Japan were back in front with a second try just after the half-hour mark.

It was again a combination of inventive attacking and poor defending which gave the underdogs a half-time advantage, Leitch ploughing his way through Care and stepping past Daly all too easily before touching down after Chris Ashton was withdrawn due to injury.

Jones introduced Farrell at the break and Ford reduced the deficit to two points with his second penalty.

Japan were finally undone for a second time, Ford throwing a dummy and feeding the onrushing Wilson, who finished off a slick move just before the hour-mark after Care got rare quick ball. 

Ford added the extras and was on target with another penalty before Richard Wigglesworth picked out Cokanasiga with an inviting pass, and the powerful young wing shrugged off a couple of tackles to score on his international bow.

Hartley dotted down when Japan failed to halt a driving maul to add gloss with Japan fading after causing England so many problems with a vibrant first-half display.

Danny Cipriani has been omitted from a three-day England training camp but Manu Tuilagi and Chris Ashton have been called up by Eddie Jones.

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