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Rugby trio travelling Down Under

SELECTED: (l-r) Armitage, Lawes and Tuilagi

THE THIRTY-MAN England squad for the forthcoming rugby union World Cup in New Zealand on September 9 was announced last night (August 22).

Included in the squad are Delon Armitage, Courtney Lawes and Manu Tuilagi who will all have major roles to play during the tournament which climaxes on October 23 at Eden Park, Auckland.

The Voice of Sport gives you the rundown on the trio who will feature for England Down Under.

Name: Delon Armitage
Age: 27
Club: London Irish
Position: Full-back
Caps: 21 (five tries)


SETBACKS: Armitage

Armitage first burst on the international scene in 2008 and was named Player of the Series during the autumn internationals due to his stellar performances but 2011 has been full of turmoil for the 27-year-old.
He was banned twice last season after verbally abusing an anti-doping official in January and for striking Northampton fly-half Stephen Myler in April, receiving a three-week ban for the latter and an eight-week misconduct charge for his run-in with the official.
Despite those self-inflicted setbacks, Armitage has played his way back into contention with two solid performances against Wales in the summer and is pressurising first choice full-back Ben Foden for a place in the starting line up.

Name: Courtney Lawes
Age: 22
Club: Northampton Saints
Position: Lock
Caps: 9


PLAUDITS: Lawes

Ever since making his international debut in Australia in 2009, England manager Martin Johnson has continuously praised Lawes for his effectiveness at getting around the pitch despite his 6’ 7”, 18-stone frame.
Known for his crunching tackles, Lawes earned Man of the Match plaudits for Northampton in both the quarter-finals and semi-finals of last season’s Heineken Cup and is likely to start the majority of games in New Zealand at second row along with Tom Palmer.
However, Lawes faces the disadvantage of barely playing any international rugby prior to the World Cup due to a knee injury sustained in January.

Name: Manu Tuilagi
Age: 20
Club: Leicester Tigers
Position: Centre
Caps: 1 (1 try)


DREAM DEBUT: Tuilagi

The youngest of five brothers who all played rugby for Samoa, Tuilagi has made a huge impact in what was his first season of professional rugby.
Named Premiership Young Player of the Year, Tuilagi’s displays earned him an international call-up and he repaid the faith shown in him by scoring a try on his England debut against Wales recently.
In 2010, however, the 20-year-old - who was born in Samoa but spent his teenage years in Leicester - faced deportation but was given permission to stay after a successful appeal.

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