24 August 2011, 6:02pm
All four Bath Rugby players who have been in the England training squad have been selected to travel to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup next month.
Matt Banahan, Lee Mears, David Wilson and Lewis Moody will all feature in Martin Johnson's World Cup squad, with Moody also retaining his place as captain of the squad.Moody will lead the side into the tournament where they face Argentina (September 10th), Georgia (September 18th), Romania (September 24th) and Scotland (October 1st) in the pool stages.
The squad, made up of 17 forwards and 13 backs, has a blend of experience and youth ranging from Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon), who is heading to his fourth World Cup, to London Wasps scrum half Joe Simpson, who is the only uncapped player. Simon Shaw, at 37, is the oldest player and Manu Tuilagi, at 20, the youngest.
Eleven have featured in previous tournaments, five were World Cup winners in 2003 and eight appeared in the 2007 final.
On naming his squad Martin Johnson said: "The composition of the squad is very important and we think we have the right mix in this group. There were some very tough phone calls made last week; everybody came into this camp and worked extremely hard and some players have just missed out.
"For us now though it is important to look forward - there is great sense of unity in this group and we are pleased with the depth across the squad.
"We have a number of leaders and experienced players and have named Lewis Moody as squad captain, we are confident he will play a pivotal role for us in New Zealand.
"Ultimately our aim this week is to prepare well for Ireland and to continue improving as a team. We are all looking forward to the tournament and know that selecting the 30 man squad is just the beginning."
England complete their build-up preparations against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday, August 27 (2.30pm).
England squad for 2011 Rugby World Cup
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Alex Corbisiero (London Irish)
Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers)
Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers)
Nick Easter (Harlequins)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
James Haskell (Ricoh Black Rams)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Lee Mears (Bath Rugby)
Lewis Moody (Bath Rugby)
Tom Palmer (Stade Francais)
Simon Shaw (Unattached)
Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks)
Matt Stevens (Saracens)
Steve Thompson (London Wasps)
David Wilson (Bath Rugby)
Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
Delon Armitage (London Irish)
Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby)
Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks)
Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
Shontayne Hape (London Irish)
Joe Simpson (London Wasps)
Mike Tindall (Gloucester Rugby)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)
Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)