England Selects Matt Stevens in 45-Man Rugby World Cup Training Squad

Saracens prop Matt Stevens, who returned to rugby following a two-year drug ban, has been named in England’s 45-man World Cup training squad.

Stevens, 28, came back to the sport in January after the suspension for testing positive for cocaine. He last played for England in November 2008.

Stevens joins up with a squad that includes all the members of England’s victorious 6 Nations roster and features Leicester’s Thomas Waldrom and Manu Tuilagi, named Rugby Players’ Association Player and Aviva Premiership Young Player of the Year respectively.

“Every one of these players has the chance to be in that final 30 going to New Zealand,” England team manager Martin Johnson said in comments published on the Rugby Football Union website. “The camp is going to be intense and competitive, as you would expect leading up to a World Cup, but all the players are ready for it.”

The tournament begins in New Zealand on Sept. 10.

ENGLAND TRAINING SQUAD: Forwards: Mouritz Botha (Saracens), George Chuter (Leicester Tigers), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers), Paul Doran-Jones (Northampton Saints), Nick Easter (Harlequins), Hendre Fourie (Sale Sharks), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Unattached), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Lee Mears (Bath Rugby), Lewis Moody (Bath Rugby), Tom Palmer (Stade Francais), Tim Payne (London Wasps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Simon Shaw (London Wasps), Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks), Matt Stevens (Saracens), Steve Thompson (London Wasps), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Joe Worsley (London Wasps).

Backs: Delon Armitage (London Irish), Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints), Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins), Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Riki Flutey (London Wasps), Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), Shontayne Hape (London Irish), Charlie Hodgson, (Saracens), Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby), Joe Simpson (London Wasps), James Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester Rugby), David Strettle (Saracens), Mike Tindall (Gloucester Rugby), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens), Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

To contact the reporter on this story: Tariq Panja in London at tpanja@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Elser at

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