Forwards: Joe Marler, Mako Vunipola, Kieran Brookes, Dan Cole, David Wilson, Tom Youngs, Rob Webber, Jamie George, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, George Kruis, Geoff Parling, Chris Robshaw (c), Tom Wood, James Haskell, Billy Vunipola, Ben Morgan.
Backs: Ben Youngs, Richard Wigglesworth, Danny Care, George Ford, Owen Farrell, Brad Barritt, Sam Burgess, Jonathan Joseph, Henry Slade, Jack Nowell, Anthony Watson, Jonny May, Mike Brown, Alex Goode.
Form: Four successive runners-up finishes in the 6 Nations paint an accurate picture of a team that has made a habit of falling just short, often by the narrowest of margins. Mixed fortunes in the two warm-up games against France have added uncertainty, although the management would justifiably advise against reading too much into the games. Pool A is extremely tough of course and mere qualification would represent something of a success in itself for the hosts, whose fortunes will determine the mood of the tournament as a whole.
Captain: Chris Robshaw is a brave and respected openside who leads by example week after week. His appetite for work is dizzying and he repeatedly tops the tackle and carry charts. Foraging on the ground remains a weakness, however, and some England fans still doubt his class when matched against the very best back rows in world rugby.
Star player: Jonathan Joseph. Watching Joseph switch on the afterburners to glide through outside channels evokes memories of Jeremy Guscott in his pomp. Add in his dazzling footwork and England possess an outside centre of rare quality. League convert Sam Burgess will of course be one to watch – if he plays.
World Cup history: Winners in 2003 when Jonny Wilkinson kicked an extra-time drop goal with seconds to spare and beaten finalists in 1991 and 2007. Finished fourth in 1995, but bombed horribly in 2011.
England's Pool A fixtures:
Fri 18 Sept ENGLAND v FIJI (Twickenham, 8pm)
Sat 26 Sept ENGLAND v WALES (Twickenham, 8pm)
Sat 3 Oct ENGLAND v AUSTRALIA (Twickenham, 8pm)
Sat 10 Oct ENGLAND v URUGUAY (Manchester City Stadium, 8pm)