Five Cherry & Whites could take to big­gest stage at World Cup

Gloucestershire Echo - - SPORT -

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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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