Eddie Jones is pleased at how quickly England have acclimatised to life in Japan as they prepare to start the "serious preparation" for their Rugby World Cup opener.

The 2003 winners are set up at a training base in Miyazaki ahead of this year's tournament, though the 31-man squad have been given the chance to do a variety of other activities before the focus switches back to rugby.

They visited a local school during the week, with some players trying their hand at archery, while Jones has allowed them the opportunity to relax as they settle into their new surroundings.

Still, the Australian coach has at times needed to restrict his players from doing too much work in training, wary of a potentially long campaign ahead.

"The players have adjusted really well, really positive. There is a good feeling within the camp," Jones - who was in charge of the Japan national team at the previous World Cup - told the media.

"Everyone is ready to start work and we have actually had to pull players back because they have wanted to work harder.

"We have had a variety of activities on and off the field and I think they feel like they have adapted to the environment as well as they can. Now they are ready to begin the serious preparation for the World Cup.

"The players have a number of opportunities to do different things; they can go and play golf, we have been down the beach on Friday. We have got good training facilities so it is a place where you can prepare to win and that is why we came here."

England take on Tonga on September 22 but will be without prop Mako Vunipola and wing Jack Nowell for their opening fixture.

The Pool C clash with the United States that follows four days later is also going to come too soon for the injured duo, though Jones is hopeful they both may be available for the game against Argentina, which takes place in Tokyo on October 5.

"They are going really well and we are really pleased with their progress," Jones replied, when asked for fitness updates on Vunipola and Nowell.

"We have targeted for both of those guys to be available for the third or fourth game and we are pretty happy with their progress at this stage."

Steve Borthwick has confirmed Joe Launchbury and Henry Slade will be fit to feature in England's opening Rugby World Cup match.

Launchbury sustained a knock in England's final warm-up fixture against Italy, while head coach Eddie Jones was without Slade for all of the preparation games as the centre recovered from a knee injury.

However, the duo will be able to take part in England's World Cup opener against Tonga on September 22, meaning Jones will have 29 of his 31-man squad available for selection.

Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell will still be missing, with both players expected to be out for at least the first two pool-stage matches.

"Mako and Jack Nowell will be back in the latter part of the group stages," forwards coach Borthwick told reporters following the squad's arrival in Japan.

"Slade is looking, very, very good. Joe Launchbury came off with a back injury at the weekend, but there's nothing concerning there.

"Joe will recover from the flight and will be good to go. While Mako and Jack are unavailable, Slade is on track."

England's travel plans were disrupted due to a typhoon, but Borthwick - who was an assistant to Jones during his stint as Japan head coach - says the squad are in fine spirits despite the delay.

"There was a bit of disruption, but people were very good around the airport. They gave us access to the lounge because they knew we'd been held up," Borthwick said.

"We stayed on the plane for a period of time and then went into the lounge.

"There was also a little delay outside at the airport so the boys started an impromptu game of cricket. It was good, but I didn't have an innings."

After facing Tonga, England - who crashed out of the 2015 World Cup at the first hurdle - will go up against the United States, Argentina and France in Pool C.

Joe Marchant will make his first Test start against Italy in England's final Rugby World Cup warm-up game in Newcastle, even though he is not in the squad for the tournament itself.

England named their 31-man squad on August 12 and Harlequins centre Marchant was absent from the final list, but head coach Eddie Jones has selected the 23-year-old alongside Piers Francis in the midfield to face Italy in what the head coach has termed "a mix-and-match selection policy".

Ruaridh McConnochie, who was the only uncapped player named in the World Cup squad, will make his debut on the wing for a team that will be captained by Owen Farrell and will once again feature Billy Vunipola.

Marchant's previous two appearances - against Wales last month and Ireland two weeks ago - have both come from the bench.

His inclusion raises doubts about the long-term fitness of Jonathan Joseph, who pulled out of the Ireland game with muscle soreness, and Henry Slade, who has not featured in any of the World Cup warm-up games due to a knee injury.

"We are delighted to be playing against Italy, one of our traditional Six Nations rivals and the game for us is another important step to develop our game fitness and game strategy," Jones said in quotes published on England's website.

"We have gone with a mix-and-match selection policy to develop our adaptability and the team’s ability to cope with any situation."

 

England: Anthony Watson, Ruaridh McConnochie, Joe Marchant, Piers Francis, Jonny May, Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs, Joe Marler, Jamie George, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Mark Wilson, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge, Kyle Sinckler, Charlie Ewels, Matt Kvesic, Willi Heinz, George Ford, Joe Cokanasiga.

England prop Mako Vunipola will be sidelined for around 10 days with minor hamstring complaint.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) confirmed Vunipola sustained "a small tear of scar tissue" while featuring as a second-half replacement during Saturday's 57-15 win over Ireland at Twickenham.

News of a small setback comes as a relative boost to England coach Eddie Jones after the Saracens front row was ruled out for three months with a hamstring injury in May – the Ireland game marking his return to action.

Exeter Chiefs' Ben Moon will join up with the squad at their training base in Treviso as a temporary replacement.

Moon's club team-mate Jack Nowell could miss the Rugby World Cup as he battles to overcome an ankle problem

Nowell has not featured in any of England's three warm-up Tests to date and was named in the 31-man squad despite suffering his injury during the Premiership final defeat to Saracens in June.

"I think he's going to be touch and go for involvement in the World Cup," Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter told BBC Radio Devon.

"But let's cross our fingers and hope that he can come through."

England play their final warm-up game against Italy at St James' Park next Friday before heading to Japan two days later on September 8.

Jones' men begin their World Cup campaign against Tonga on September 22.

Eddie Jones is hopeful England prop Mako Vunipola did not suffer a serious injury setback when his return to action was cut short against Ireland.

The Saracens front row was ruled out for three months with a hamstring problem in May, meaning he was playing for the first time since the injury on Saturday, a matter of weeks before the Rugby World Cup.

But Vunipola failed to finish the game after coming on as a replacement, prompting fears of a major issue ahead of the tournament in Japan.

Coach Jones was unsure of the extent of the problem but stayed optimistic after an impressive 57-15 win at Twickenham.

"He just felt his hamstring a little bit," Jones told Sky Sports. "We're not sure how serious it is. We're cautiously optimistic he'll be okay."

There was a moment of concern for Ireland, too, with Cian Healy hobbling off shortly before half-time after receiving treatment for an ankle problem.

And there was also a head injury assessment (HIA) for Conor Murray, who briefly came back on before being withdrawn.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt was positive, though, saying: "Conor passed his HIA, he was fine.

"We had a bit of a breakdown in communication - I wasn't going to put him back on, so that was a slip-up on our behalf and we got him off.

"Cian's had an x-ray and the ankle is normal. He sprained it and was pretty uncomfortable. The good news is he did walk from the pitch, so hopefully that's a little bit of promise for us."

Ben Te'o has joined Toulon on a short-term deal after calling time on his spell with the Worcester Warriors.

The 32-year-old New Zealand-born England international left Worcester in April, and was not included in Eddie Jones' 31-man squad for the upcoming World Cup.

Top 14 side Toulon have now signed the free agent, who will provide cover for players leaving the French club to take part in the World Cup, which runs until September 20 to November 2.

Te'o has signed for Toulon until November, with the club announcing the deal on Wednesday. The centre will undergo a medical on Friday.

An 18-time England international and two-time British and Irish Lion, Te'o joined Worcester in 2016, after spending two years at Leinster.

Toulon's fellow Top 14 sides Racing 92 and 2018-19 champions Toulouse had also been credited with an interest in the former NRL star.

Ruaridh McConnochie's England debut may be delayed further due to him suffering muscle soreness prior to Saturday's encounter against Wales.

The Bath winger had been due to face Warren Gatland's side in last weekend's reverse encounter at Twickenham, which England won 33-19, only to miss out with a hip problem.

Head coach Eddie Jones said McConnochie's issue is not the same as the one that saw him sit out last time around, but his chances of playing at the Principality Stadium are in doubt.

"Ruaridh pulled up a bit sore today so we're not 100 per cent sure how he’ll be," Jones said on Friday.

"We'll find out later tonight. It's not the same injury. He's just sore, so we'll find out about it."

There was better news on the progress of Mako Vunipola, though, with the Saracens prop close to returning from the hamstring injury he sustained towards the back end of last season.

"Mako did a bit of extra work at the end of training today, a bit of contact work. A bit of defence work. He should get some time next weekend against Ireland," Jones added.

Danny Cipriani insists he "can't be disappointed" at being omitted from England's Rugby World Cup squad, despite missing out on a "seven-year" goal.

The Gloucester fly-half was not included in a warm-weather trip to Treviso last month even though he was included in the prior two training camps.

Cipriani has flitted in and out of contention under head coach Eddie Jones in a heated battle for the 10 jersey with Owen Farrell and George Ford.

The 31-year-old's dream of playing at a World Cup is now certainly over having also missed out in 2011 and 2015, but Cipriani is harbouring no ill will.

"I would have loved to be involved in England's Rugby World Cup squad. It has been a seven-year goal with different challenges along the way," Cipriani wrote in his column for The Telegraph.

"But I can't be disappointed because there was honestly no expectation from my side. It was never my right. I never thought: 'Last season went pretty well, I should be picked.'

"All in all, I had two weeks in camp, then a week on my own with my sprint coach Margot Wells after being told I needed the extra conditioning. Then there was one final training session with game-based drills on the Friday, led by Eddie Jones.

"Afterwards, later that afternoon on my way back down to Cheltenham, he rang to say I would not be going out to Italy. Three days later, on the following Monday, I flew to Los Angeles and I have been here since."

It is not known whether Cipriani will make England's injury reserve list, but the Premiership player of the year plans on getting himself in prime condition should an emergency call come his way.

"Eddie has said that everyone needs to be ready and the best way to do that is for me to be the best version of myself at Gloucester," Cipriani said. "I have not been told where I am in the England pecking order, but if the stars align and the call does come at any point, I'll be ready. I felt ready seven years ago."

Eddie Jones has reminded his England squad "nothing has been achieved" heading into Saturday's World Cup warm-up match with Wales.

England claimed a 33-19 victory over the Six Nations champions on Sunday, and they face Warren Gatland's side again in Cardiff as World Cup preparations click into gear.

Ruaridh McConnochie - included in Jones' 31-man World Cup squad - will make his England debut at the Principality Stadium, while the visitors will be without the injured Sam Underhill and Tom Curry.

Although England's performance against Wales last Sunday was impressive, Jones says his side know they must keep stepping up their levels as the Japan-hosted tournament, now only five weeks away, draws closer.

"The squad has been progressing well this week and I think there is a realisation among the squad now that the hard work really starts, nothing has been achieved," Jones said.

"Our selection strategy for our second game is similar to the first, so a bit of a mix-and-match approach. We are looking at different combinations and have a particular strategy for this game.

"The game is very much about ourselves preparing for the World Cup and we are respectful that we have got such strong opposition at their home ground."

Lewis Ludlam will make his second consecutive start, moving to openside as Courtney Lawes comes into the back row, covering for Curry, while Maro Itoje starts in place of Charlie Ewels, who did not make the cut for the World Cup.

Jones' assistant Scott Wisemantel is confident McConnochie can thrive on his debut.

"He deserves his chance and it was unfortunate last week that he had that minor blow," Wisemantel told a news conference.

"But I think in Cardiff on Saturday where it will be quite intense, he'll settle into a rhythm and then he'll be fine."

England team to face Wales: Elliot Daly; Ruaridh McConnochie, Jonathan Joseph, Piers Francis, Joe Cokanasiga; George Ford, Willi Heinz; Ellis Genge, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Dan Cole; Joe Launchbury, Maro Itoje; Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Jamie George, Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler, George Kruis, Jack Singleton, Ben Youngs, Owen Farrell, Manu Tuilagi.

Eddie Jones refused to divulge why Ben Te'o was omitted from England's Rugby World Cup squad, simply declaring "he's just not in our top 31 players".

Centre Te'o and full-back Mike Brown were notable absentees when the squad for the tournament in Japan was named on Monday.

The duo were reportedly involved in an altercation at a social event during England's warm-weather training camp in Treviso last week.

England head coach Jones was not prepared to disclose why British and Irish Lion Te'o had been overlooked from a squad that includes Piers Francis and former Sevens specialist Ruaridh McConnochie.

The Australian said: "I'm not going to go into reasons why he wasn't selected. We've had conversations; he understands it. Whether he agrees with it is another matter.

"We've had that discussion with him and he's just not in our top 31 players at the moment."

Asked if Te'o had missed out due to his form, Jones added: "Again, we don't go into reasons as to why we select them or unselect. We won't disclose conversations we have with players."

Jones also defended his decision to pick only two scrum-halves in Ben Youngs and Willi Heinz, who impressed on debut in the victory over Wales on Sunday.

"We'd like to take three of every specialist position, but that would leave us short in other positions. We decided to go with two there and two at tighthead," Jones said.

"There's risk involved, but there's risk involved in other positions, so we've got contingency. We've got contingency in George Ford to play a little bit of half-back.

"He's been doing some training and we'll continue to do that. If we say we need a third half-back, we believe he can fulfil the role for a period of time."

Billy Vunipola insists England will not be dwelling on their early Rugby World Cup exit four years ago when they head to Japan.

England were humbled on home soil in 2015, finishing third in Pool A, with Wales and eventual runners-up Australia securing progression to the knockout stages.

On Monday, Vunipola was included in Eddie Jones' 31-man squad for the upcoming tournament having starred in Sunday's 33-19 defeat of Six Nations champions Wales.

Despite their disappointment in 2015, Jones' side will be favourites to progress from Pool C, with France, Argentina, United States and Tonga their opponents, and Vunipola does not believe England's failure in the last World Cup will haunt them in Japan.

"That was done four years ago. As soon as it was done it was old news," Vunipola told Omnisport.

"For us, it's about creating our own legacy and we managed to do that after the World Cup. We managed to win the Six Nations [in 2016 and 2017] and we need to believe that we can be successful and that it’s within our grasp.

"I put it quite bluntly, but I truly believe it, I truly believe we can win the World Cup."

However, Vunipola is wary of underestimating England's pool-stage opponents.

"It's important that we focus on England, and I'm sure we don't [underestimate the opponents]," Vunipola added.

"It showed when we played teams like Italy that people think that it will be a banana skin for us, we took them as seriously as everyone else.

"We don't go into internationals thinking we can never lose as you saw with Scotland, it's just a non-starter for me that one."

 

Vunipola was speaking at a coaching session he was leading with fellow Saracens and Harlequins players on behalf of Land Rover at Beaconsfield RFC.

Ruaridh McConnochie has been named in England's 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup - but there is no place for Ben Te'o ahead of the tournament in Japan.

Wing McConnochie, who claimed a silver medal on sevens duty for Great Britain at the 2016 Olympic Games, is the only uncapped player selected by Eddie Jones following an excellent season with Bath.

Having impressed on their debuts in a 33-19 win over Wales at Twickenham on Sunday, Lewis Ludlam and Willi Heinz both make the cut.

However, there is no place for experienced centre Te'o, Jones instead opting for Piers Francis.

England coach Eddie Jones has trimmed his squad ahead of the Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Wales, with Ben Te'o and Mike Brown among those dropped.

After a 12-day training camp in Italy, Jones' side begin their World Cup preparations against the Six Nations champions at Twickenham on Sunday.

Te'o, Brown, Alex Dombrandt and Ben Spencer have been cut from the group, while Jack Nowell remains to continue rehabilitation from an injury.

Jones issued a reminder that the players could be recalled at any stage during England's warm-up campaign, which also includes an away game against Wales and meetings with Ireland and Italy.

"We have worked hard and now move into a four-game preparation phase where the development of the team tactically is paramount. We are grateful for the strong opposition to test our game fitness," Jones told England's official website.

"By the time we fly out [to Japan] on the eighth of September we will be ready to win the Rugby World Cup. We are not there yet but we have four games to get ready.

"Players excluded from being involved in this camp are naturally disappointed but may get another opportunity so they must be ready."

 

England squad:

Forwards: Dan Cole, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler, Jack Singleton, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Harry Williams, Mark Wilson.

Backs: Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Piers Francis, Willi Heinz, Jonathan Joseph, Joe Marchant, Jonny May, Ruaridh McConnochie, Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs.

Uncapped centre Joe Marchant has been included in a 38-man England squad for a 12-day training camp, but Danny Cipriani will not be involved in Treviso.

The Harlequins player flew out for warm-weather on Monday with the rest of the group for training two months before the Rugby World Cup starts in Japan.

It will be Marchant's first experience with the senior squad, while full-back Ruaridh McConnochie is another uncapped player to be selected by Eddie Jones.

Sam Underhill and Anthony Watson will be on the trip after spending last week undergoing strength and conditioning, having been sidelined by long-term injuries.

Joe Marler is also included after reversing his decision to retire from international rugby, however Gloucester fly-half Cipriani has failed to make the cut.

England head coach Jones said: "Treviso is a hard yards camp with conditions similar to Tokyo. Team training will be about being adaptable and off the field enjoying each other's company."

He added: "Selection is absolutely challenging, we have left some good players doing work at their clubs and they must be ready if called up."

England training squad:

Forwards: Dan Cole, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Joe Marler, Brad Shields, Kyle Sinckler, Jack Singleton, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Harry Williams, Mark Wilson.

Backs: Mike Brown, Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Piers Francis, Willi Heinz, Jonathan Joseph, Joe Marchant, Jonny May, Ruaridh McConnochie, Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Ben Spencer, Ben Te’o, Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs.

Wimbledon welcomed a host of sporting heroes to the Royal Box on Saturday - including the trophy-chasing stars of England's Cricket World Cup team.

Captain Eoin Morgan was a guest, along with key batsmen Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root, while Test bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad and former England skipper Andrew Strauss joined them at the All England Club.

England football and rugby union bosses Gareth Southgate and Eddie Jones were also introduced to the Centre Court crowd by BBC presenter Sue Barker.

Olympic gold medal winners Chris Hoy, Ben Ainslie, Giles Scott, Mo Farah and Sebastian Coe also took up the chance to watch from the best seats in the house.

Tottenham and England midfielder Eric Dier made an appearance, as did English rugby union stars Maro Itoje, Jonny May and Dylan Hartley and Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones, England netball captain Ama Agbeze, golfers Laura Davies, Catriona Matthew and Matt Fitzpatrick, and former boxers Carl Froch and David Haye.

Former British tennis number one Anne Keothavong was joined by Great Britain Davis Cup captain Leon Smith, and past Wimbledon champions Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King and Ann Jones were afforded prime seats.

Rod Laver, the great Australian left-hander, was front and centre and received a replica trophy from Wimbledon chairman Philip Brook to mark 50 years since his 1969 Wimbledon triumph.

Laver went on to complete his second singles calendar grand slam in that year, an unmatched feat in the sport.

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