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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 September, 2003, 12:43 GMT 13:43 UK
England name World Cup squad
Austin Healey in action for England against South Africa last autumn
Austin has had almost a year out and he has not quite done enough to be selected
England coach Clive Woodward
England coach Clive Woodward has named his final squad of 30 for the World Cup with Mike Catt being a surprise inclusion.

But Austin Healey is one of five players who have not made the cut.

The other four are James Simpson-Daniel, Graham Rowntree, Simon Shaw and Ollie Smith.

Catt won the last of his 56 caps against South Africa in November 2001.

Injuries to Charlie Hodgson and Alex King created a vacancy for a third fly-half behind Jonny Wilkinson and Paul Grayson, and 31-year-old Catt has got the nod.

"In a squad like this for the Rugby World Cup you need three people who can play 10, especially when you consider the tough pool matches we have to play and who we may face in the knock-out stages.

"Clearly, we've got two in the squad with Jonny and Paul but we need a third and we'd already lost Charlie Hodgson and Alex King through injury.

"So quite simply Mike is the next person in."

Catt was riddled with injury problems last season, but he came through a rigorous day of fitness testing with the England management last week.

Wasps' Cape Town-born centre Stuart Abbott, who qualifies for England through his mother, also makes it, as does Bath back Iain Balshaw, a star of Saturday's victory over France at Twickenham.

Leicester forward Martin Corry, outstanding in England's warm-up Tests, gains one of six back-row slots.

Woodward said Healey was unfortunate to miss out: "It's tough on Austin and I've had a long chat with him.

"The biggest thing everyone has got to get their minds around is that I'm not taking a squad of utility players and when we play these games we must have the best 22 available for the key games.

"Austin has had almost a year out and although he has done very well he has not quite done enough to be selected.

"Simon Shaw would be in any other international team in the world and not to pick or Graham Rowntree are the two hardest decisions I've had to make in my six years as head coach with England."

England squad for World Cup:
Full-backs/wings: I Balshaw (Bath), B Cohen (Northampton), J Lewsey (Wasps), D Luger (Perpignan), J Robinson (Sale).
Centres: S Abbott (Wasps), W Greenwood (Harlequins), M Tindall (Bath).
Fly-halves: M Catt (Bath), P Grayson (Northampton), J Wilkinson (Newcastle).
Scrum-halves: K Bracken (Saracens), M Dawson (Northampton), A Gomarsall (Gloucester).
Props: J Leonard (Harlequins), P Vickery (Gloucester), J White (Leicester), T Woodman (Gloucester).
Hookers: M Regan (Leeds), S Thompson (Northampton), D West (Leicester).
Second rows: (D Grewcock (Bath), M Johnson (Leicester, capt), B Kay (Leicester)
Back rows: N Back (Leicester), M Corry (Leicester), L Dallaglio (Wasps), R Hill (Saracens), L Moody (Leicester), J Worsley (Wasps).

Links to more England stories


King to miss World Cup
04 Sep 03  |  Internationals

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