Rugby-Tuilagi in England squad, Hodgson misses out
LONDON Aug 22 (Reuters) - Manu Tuilagi gatecrashed England's 30-man World Cup squad on Monday and cost fellow centre Riki Flutey his ticket to the tournament in New Zealand where Lewis Moody will be "squad captain".
Samoa-born Tuilagi, 20, who made headlines last season for punching England wing Chris Ashton in a club match, enjoyed a try-scoring debut in the Aug. 6 warmup match with Wales and is the youngest player in the squad.
He partnered New Zealand-born Flutey in midfield for the 23-19 victory over Wales and has got the nod in manager Martin Johnson's final squad, with 2003 World Cup winner Mike Tindall and Shontayne Hape also named at centre.
Flyhalf Charlie Hodgson misses the trip, Jonny Wilkinson and Toby Flood being preferred at number 10.
The scrumhalves are Richard Wigglesworth, the uncapped Joe Simpson and Ben Youngs, who is back in training following a knee injury and is included after Danny Care was ruled out with a toe problem.
"The composition of the squad is very important and we think we have the right mix in this group," said Johnson, captain when England won the trophy in 2003.
"There were some very tough phone calls made last week, everybody came into this camp and worked extremely hard and some players have just missed out," he said in a statement.
Flanker Moody suffered a mild knee strain in the win over Wales and Johnson has refused to totally back him as team captain, with Tindall having led England to four successive wins en route to this year's Six Nations title.
"We have a number of leaders and experienced players and have named Lewis Moody as squad captain. We are confident he will play a pivotal role for us in New Zealand," Johnson added.
Prop Matt Stevens has been picked after recently returning from a two-year doping ban. Fellow forward Simon Shaw, without a club, is the oldest member of the squad at 37.
Inexperienced duo Charlie Sharples and Mouritz Botha are among those from the warmup group to be omitted from a squad which boasts five players from the 2003 tournament and eight from the 2007 final which England lost to South Africa.
England, who visit Ireland for their final warmup on Saturday having lost to Wales in a return friendly on Aug. 13, face Argentina (Sept. 10), Georgia (Sept. 18), Romania (Sept. 24) and Scotland (Oct. 1) in Pool B.
Forwards: Dan Cole, Alex Corbisiero, Tom Croft, Louis Deacon, Nick Easter, Dylan Hartley, James Haskell, Courtney Lawes, Lee Mears, Lewis Moody (captain), Tom Palmer, Simon Shaw, Andrew Sheridan, Matt Stevens, Steve Thompson, David Wilson, Tom Wood.
Backs: Delon Armitage, Chris Ashton, Matt Banahan, Mark Cueto, Toby Flood, Ben Foden, Shontayne Hape, Joe Simpson, Mike Tindall, Manu Tuilagi, Richard Wigglesworth, Jonny Wilkinson, Ben Youngs. (Editing by Tony Jimenez; To query or comment on this story email email@example.com)
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