Matt Stevens England call-up confirmed

Matt Stevens' return from the ignominy of a drugs ban continued today when he was confirmed in England's 45-man Rugby World Cup training squad.

The Saracens prop has been joined by five uncapped players at England's training camp - Manusamoa Tuilagi, Thomas Waldrom, Mouritz Botha, Joe Simpson and Charlie Sharples.



England manager Martin Johnson has also rewarded the Harlequins captain Chris Robshaw and Saracens scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth for their impressive seasons.



Stevens returned to action in January after serving a two-year suspension for cocaine use and he has not been on a losing side game since, helping Saracens win the Aviva Premiership title and the England Saxons to Churchill Cup success.



Capped 32 times by England, Stevens played in the 2007 World Cup final and toured with the British and Irish Lions in 2005.



At the other end of the experience scale, Johnson has drafted Leicester's 20-year-old centre Tuilagi into the training squad after a breakthrough season at Welford Road.



Tuilagi was voted the Premiership's young player of the year and would have been part of the Saxons campaign had he not been banned for punching Chris Ashton.



The 20-year-old was nearly deported last year after it emerged he did not have the right paperwork to be living in England.



Tuilagi, who has four brothers who played for Samoa, was granted indefinite leave to stay and declared his international allegiance to England.



Waldrom, the Leicester number eight, was born in New Zealand but qualifies to play for England after discovering during this season that his grandmother was born in the country.



Botha, who was born in South Africa and qualifies on residency grounds, has been in prime form for Saracens this year and impressed England's coaches during the recent Churchill Cup campaign.

Johnson will name his final 30-man squad for the tournament in New Zealand on August 22, before the final warm-up match against Ireland.

"Every one of these players has the chance to be in that final 30 going to New Zealand," he said.



"The camp is going to be intense and competitive, as you would expect leading up to a World Cup, but all the players are ready for it.



"We have guys such as Lewis Moody, Jonny Wilkinson and Mike Tindall who have been in this situation before but also a lot of players who won't have experienced a World Cup training camp.



"It's now up to all of them to set down their marker over the next 10 weeks before we head to New Zealand."



There was no room for Gloucester lock Dave Attwood, who sustained a knee injury during the Churchill Cup, or Exeter flanker Tom Johnson in a competitive back row.



Saracens centre Brad Barritt made a strong case for selection during the season but England have picked five centres in Tuilagi, Tindall, Matt Banahan, Riki Flutey and Shontayne Hape.



England's first-choice back three - Ben Foden, Chris Ashton and Mark Cueto - are joined by Sharples, James Simpson-Daniel, Ugo Monye, David Strettle and Delon Armitage.



England have picked four scrum-halves in Ben Youngs, Danny Care, Wigglesworth and Simpson.



Up front, Stevens is one of seven props in the training squad but his ability to pack down on both sides leaves him in prime shape to win a seat on the plane.



Andrew Sheridan, Dan Cole and Alex Corbisiero all started games in the Six Nations and they are joined in the training squad by Stevens, Paul Doran-Jones, David Wilson and Tim Payne.



Waldrom has been drafted in because England lack depth behind Nick Easter at number eight - but they are strong on the flanks with Tom Wood, Tom Croft, James Haskell, Joe Worsley, Lewis Moody and Robshaw all named.



In the second row, Botha joins Courtney Lawes, Simon Shaw, Louis Deacon and Tom Palmer while front-line hookers Dylan Hartley and Steve Thompson have been joined by George Chuter and Lee Mears.



England's 45-man Rugby World Cup training squad:

FORWARDS: Mouritz Botha (Saracens), George Chuter (Leicester Tigers), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers), Paul Doran-Jones (Northampton Saints), Nick Easter (Harlequins), Hendre Fourie (Sale Sharks), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Unattached), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Lee Mears (Bath Rugby), Lewis Moody (Bath Rugby), Tom Palmer (Stade Francais), Tim Payne (London Wasps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Simon Shaw (London Wasps), Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks), Matt Stevens (Saracens), Steve Thompson (London Wasps), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Joe Worsley (London Wasps).



BACKS: Delon Armitage (London Irish), Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints), Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins), Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Riki Flutey (London Wasps), Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), Shontayne Hape (London Irish), Charlie Hodgson (Saracens), Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby), Joe Simpson (London Wasps), James Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester Rugby), David Strettle (Saracens), Mike Tindall (Gloucester Rugby), Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens), Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).





News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?