Lionesses: Injured Beth Mead misses out as England's World Cup squad named

Sarina Wiegman has named her 23-player squad for the World Cup, Steve Scott has the latest

The Lionesses' World Cup squad has been announced, with 2022 Golden Boot winner Beth Mead missing out through injury.

Bethany England has been included in Sarina Wiegman’s 23-player squad in Mead's absence.

Striker England, who has not been involved for her country since last September, is recalled after scoring 12 Women’s Super League goals for Tottenham since joining them from Chelsea in January.

Mead joins England captain Leah Williamson, as well as Chelsea star Fran Kirby, who will both miss out on the finals because of injuries.

'Beth is so positive, she is going really well, but with the time schedule she had, we would have taken so many risks to get her to the World Cup'

Asked if there was ever a chance the Arsenal winger could have been in the squad, Wiegman told a press conference: “No, I don’t think so."

The England boss added: “Beth is so positive and she’s going really well, but we said the time schedule she had, we would have taken so many risks to try to get her to the World Cup.

“Very early we said we’re not going to take that risk, I’m not willing to take that risk, to push her too much and then she gets injured again. We have to take care of players and do what’s smart, and not do what’s a little bit naive.”

Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Rachel Daly, Mary Earps, Alex Greenwood, Georgia Stanway and Keira Walsh are all named, having also been part of the squad that reached the 2019 World Cup semi-finals.

The World Cup kicks off on July 20 in Auckland, New Zealand.

The full Lionesses squad for the Women's World Cup

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps (Manchester United), Hannah Hampton (Aston Villa), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City).

Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal).

Midfielders: Laura Coombs (Manchester City), Jordan Nobbs (Aston Villa), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Keira Walsh (Barcelona), Katie Zelem (Manchester United).

Forwards: Rachel Daly (Aston Villa), Bethany England (Tottenham Hotspur), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Lauren James (Chelsea), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Katie Robinson (Brighton & Hove Albion), Alessia Russo (Manchester United).

Wiegman said: "I have huge belief in this squad and we’re very fortunate to be selecting a fantastic group of players to travel to Australia.

"We know we will face tough challenges from strong teams, and we will have to be competitive from the first match on 22 July.

"We will do everything to be at our very best again this summer."

In a break from tradition, Wiegman announced her squad from a "flourishing" community club in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham.

The team news was released at Boldmere St. Michaels FC, home to a total of 70 teams across 18 different age groups across women’s, men’s, girls’ and boys’ football.

The decision to do this follows the "Lionesses’ equal access success and has been made to highlight the strong connection between the grassroots game and England teams," England Football said.

Beth Mead will not play in the Women's World Cup this summer. Credit: PA

The FA recently commissioned research into the plague of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries that Williamson and Mead are grappling with.

The women’s game has been blighted by the career-threatening injury, but sports science is still working on the answer to why female footballers are up to seven times more likely to suffer it than men.

ITV News sports editor Steve Scott recently took a deeper look into how and why ACL injuries are disproportionately blighting women's football.

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