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VIDEO – Johnson on the five released players

01 August 2011

  • Martin Johnson cuts five from Rugby World Cup training camp
  • Chuter, Simpson-Daniel, Strettle, Worsley and Waldrom gone back to clubs

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Martin Johnson has released five players from England’s 45-man Rugby World Cup preliminary training squad.

Ahead of the Investec International against Wales at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday (2.30pm kick-off), hooker George Chuter, wing pair James Simpson-Daniel and David Strettle, flanker Joe Worsley and No.8 Thomas Waldrom have left the group.

Team Manager Johnson cited injuries and ability for players to participate in their club pre-season schedules as the main reasons for the cut in squad numbers at this stage.

Flanker Joe Worsley taking part in England's Rugby World Cup preliminary training camp

Photo: Getty Images

"We had 45, which was a decent number and you have to narrow that down at some point and we have to get to 30 obviously. Five have gone which is always a tough call.

"Joe Worsley – trying to get to his fourth world cup – was a tough call. Joe has had a few injuries, he fought and fought to get back and get ahead of some of the other guys but didn’t quite do it. So a tough call on Joe, but with any of the guys they could come back in and play for us tomorrow and do a job."

On wings Strettle and Simpson-Daniel, and hooker Chuter he added: "Dave Strettle trained really well, he was particularly disappointed and thought he’d done well, which he had. I said 'it’s the same with James Simpson-Daniel, you guys can play, you’ve played Test matches, it just got to be someone.'

Wing David Strettle taking part in England's Rugby World Cup preliminary training camp

Photo: Getty Images

"They’ve got strengths to their game that are better than some of the other players and vice-versa, that’s why it’s tough. It’s the same with George battling for that hooker spot.

"Tom Waldrom got an injury and that prevented him really participating the last two weeks and showing what he could do under live conditions. But I said to all of them 'you go back and play for your clubs, playing now is better than not playing here'. And if we need them, we know where they are."

England’s trimmed squad of 40 are now preparing for the Test match against Wales and Johnson discussed preparations this week and the importance of getting the right result at Twickenham.

Action from England against Wales in the 2011 RBS 6 Nations

Photo: Getty Images

"This is a Test week, but also a pre-season week as well. Some guys won’t be playing so they’ll need to train very hard this week and get themselves ready for a chance next week. The team need to get the balance right of training and getting better but also tapering down to give themselves a shot to produce on Saturday.

"We need to practice winning Test matches, that’s what we’re here for. When we get there it’s England v Wales so the best thing you can do in that situation is try and win.

"If you get the performance right, the result will take care of itself. So if you go out and perform, that’s all you can do to get the end product, which is the win."

You can see the England players close up at the first open training session in a Test week at Twickenham Stadium on Tuesday, August 9. Watch Jonny Wilkinson chat about how special it is to meet the fans on RFU.com.