Cipriani added to England World Cup training squad

Gloucester fly-half Danny Cipriani is yet to appear at World Cup, scoring 64 points in a total 16 appearances for England. David Rogers/Getty Images

Gloucester fly-half Danny Cipriani has been added to England's 31-man provisional World Cup training squad.

The 31-year-old, who was named Premiership player of the year and RPA players' player of the year last season after leading Gloucester to their first playoff appearance in eight years, is believed to have been brought in as emergency cover at scrum-half.

Cipriani has scored 64 points from his 16 international caps but has not played for England since June 2018 when he was influential in a test match win over South Africa.

His hopes of making head coach Eddie Jones' final squad for the tournament in Japan remain slim, with players from Premiership finalists Exeter Chiefs and Saracens still to be added next week.

Saracens' fly-half Owen Farrell and lock Maro Itoje, as well as Exeter Chiefs' centre Henry Slade and winger Jack Nowell, are among the players expected to be included in next week's final training squad.

Nowell is with the squad, receiving treatment for an ankle injury. Saracens' George Krius and Mako Vunipola are also in for medical treatment.

Uncapped Gloucester pair half-back Willi Heinz and centre Ollie Thorley have also been drafted in, as well as Northampton Saints' lock Courtney Lawes and fly-half Piers Francis.

Previously included prop Kyle Sinckler and fly-half Marcus Smith will return to their club, Harlequins, next week.

The originally named 29-man World Cup training squad that met last weekend included four uncapped payers but the experienced trio of hooker Dylan Hartley, scrum-half Danny Care and flanker Chris Robshaw were left out of the squad.

"They have all come back from their leave in excellent condition and the best I have seen in the time I have been with England," Jones said in a statement.

"Next week we'll add some players and be looking to improve our physical conditioning, ability to understand how we want to play the game and start to increase the pressure at training."

The Rugby World Cup kicks off on Sept. 20 with England facing Tonga in their opening encounter in Sapporo two days later. They will also France, Argentina and the USA in Pool C.

England provisional training squad:

Forwards: Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), Val Rapava Ruskin (Gloucester Rugby), Nick Schonert (Worcester Warriors), Brad Shields (Wasps), Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons).

Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Cipriani (Gloucester Rugby), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), Elliot Daly (Wasps), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Piers Francis (Northampton Saints), Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby), Dan Robson (Wasps), Ben Te'o (Worcester Warriors), Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers) (Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Christian Radnedge).

In for medical treatment: George Kruis (Saracens), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Mako Vunipola (Saracens).