Burgess in, Cipriani out

Sam Burgess has been named in England's World Cup squad ahead of Luther Burrell, while Danny Cipriani has been axed.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster announced his final 31-man group on Thursday and went with a 17-14 split in favour of the forwards. 

Former rugby league star Burgess and Henry Slade held off the challenge from Burrell to join Jonathan Joseph and Brad Barritt as the four centres in the squad. 

Cipriani has been overlooked despite his impressive cameo against France last weekend, with George Ford and Owen Farrell the two flyhalves. 

Eighthman Ben Morgan has played just 40 minutes of competitive rugby since breaking his leg in January, but is selected ahead of Nick Easter, while Kieran Brookes stays on as the fifth prop at the expense of British & Irish Lions player Alex Corbisiero. 

'Selection wasn’t easy and it is tough to leave anyone out, but it’s important to stress that the players not in this group are still part of our wider squad and could come in at any point,' said Lancaster. 'After 10 weeks in camp we have made our final selection of players and we believe we have a great group to take us into the tournament. With three weeks to go before we play Fiji, we feel we are in good shape as we head into next Saturday’s game against Ireland.'

England's 31-man squad:

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.

2015 World Cup squads announced so far

Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images

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