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Eight Midlands players in England squad for crucial Rugby World Cup clash against Wales

Leicester and England brothers Ben and Tom Youngs are both named Credit: PA

Eight players from Midlands teams have been named in the England side to play Wales in their crucial group stage Rugby World Cup clash on Saturday.

More than a third of the starting fifteen are from teams in the region, with two more on the bench:

  • Tom Youngs (Leicester)
  • Dan Cole (Leicester)
  • Courtney Lawes (Northampton)
  • Tom Wood (Northampton)
  • Ben Youngs (Leicester)
  • Jonny May (Gloucester)
  • Joe Launchbury (Wasps) - Substitute
  • James Haskell (Wasps) - Substitute

England won their opening match against Fiji, claiming a crucial bonus point in the process. Wales currently are top of Pool A on points difference, with England in second.


William Webb Ellis and Martin Johnson feature in Rugby World Cup Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony Credit: ITV Sport

Rugby schoolboy William Webb Ellis and Leicester Tigers legend Martin Johnson featured in tonight's Opening Ceremony for the Rugby World Cup.

Webb Ellis, who is credited with inventing the sport when he picked up the ball and ran with it at Rugby school, was played by an actor.

He scaled a human pyramid of rugby players to rescue the Rugby World Cup Trophy, known as the Webb Ellis Cup, before placing it upon a stand.

An actor plays Rugby schoolboy William Webb Ellis Credit: ITV Sport

Leicester Tigers legend Martin Johnson then took to the stage as each country was represented by one of their rugby greats. Johnson, who captained the national side to the trophy in 2003, was representing England.

Martin Johnson represents England at the Opening Ceremony. Credit: ITV Sport

Players tweet reactions to World Cup selection

Tom Wood has made the squad Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/PA Images

Midlands players selected for the World Cup squad, and those who missed out, have been tweeting their reaction to today's squad announcement:


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