Five Cherry & Whites could take to biggest stage at World Cup
THE Rugby World Cup is just one month away and some Gloucester players will be heading to Japan hoping to play a big role.
Some countries have already selected their 31-man squads ahead of the World Rugby deadline of September 8.
Here are the players who will be representing the Cherry and Whites in Japan and those still in contention. ENGLAND
Willi Heinz is the sole Gloucester representative in England’s 31-man squad despite only making his debut one day before the announcement at the age of 32.
He has started both warm-up games so far against Wales and is one of just two scrum-halves selected by Eddie Jones, having emerged as a surprise bolter.
Despite being born in New Zealand, Heinz qualifies for England through his grandmother and he has spent the last four years at Gloucester having joined from Crusaders, being captain for the last two.
Danny Cipriani, Ollie Thorley and Val Rapava Ruskin have all spent time training with England and could be called up if there are injuries before or during the tournament. ITALY
Jake Polledri and Callum Braley have been named in Italy’s 31-man squad.
Braley has Italian heritage through his grandfather and was called up to the squad during the Six Nations.
He made his debut on August 10 against Ireland with his second cap coming against Russia at the weekend.
Braley joins Gloucester team-mate Polledri, who has also booked a spot on the plane to Japan.
Polledri has won nine caps since making his debut against Scotland in the 2018 Six Nations.
He was Italy’s man of the match in their record 85-15 win over Russia. SOUTH AFRICA
Lock Franco Mostert is on course for his first World Cup having helped South Africa win The Rugby Championship.
He has been named in a 36-man squad for a four-day training camp in Bloemfontein with the Springboks to finalise their World Cup squad on Monday, August 26.
Mostert has won 31 caps for South Africa and made a big impact for Gloucester after joining in December last year. SCOTLAND
New Gloucester signing Chris Harris has been training with Scotland’s squad throughout the summer and is currently among a 40-man group with head coach Gregor Townsend waiting to pick his final 31 until next month.
Harris was not involved in Scotland’s warm-up game against France, as they were thrashed 32-3.
The centre has won eight caps for Scotland since making his debut against Samoa in November 2017 and he made two appearances in this year’s Six Nations but he has only made two starts so faces a battle to make the cut.
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