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England rugby World Cup preparations going well though Hartley dropped

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Bookies.com review England's preparations ahead of the rugby world cup

With the rugby World Cup drawing near, Bookies.com takes a look at the latest news for one of the most eagerly anticipated competitions in sport.

England hooker Dylan Hartley has admitted that he is “gutted” to be missing the World Cup after being removed from the squad, following a head-butt on Saracens’ Jamie George which earned him a four week suspension, however, he has said that he is not quitting rugby.

“Am I gutted about missing the World Cup? Stupid question – of course I am,” Hartley told media. “There is no truth in the speculation I may quit international rugby. I’ve been unlucky with getting it wrong on the big stage a few times now. Maybe it’s down to emotions?

“I feel I can still contribute and as long as Stuart Lancaster thinks that too, that’s all that matters. I need to channel my hurt into training because, when the World Cup starts, I need to be in a good place fitness-wise in case of injuries.”

England are 9/2 with Sky Bet to win the competition and did their preparations no harm at all recently with a 73-12 victory over the Barbarians, with Danny Cipriani impressing, amassing a haul of 33 points.

“I’ve got to make sure I put my hand up every time I get a chance,” said Cipriani after the match, who will have his eye on a starting spot for the World Cup.

“We played our England way, we played our structure, we didn’t let the game get too lose and on defence we hunted them down and got the ball back which is exactly how we wanted to play.”

Meanwhile, youngster Christian Wade will have strengthened his chances of playing at the tournament, after his fantastic hat-trick.

England are 11/10 with Bet365 to win their group, which also contains Australia, Wales, Fiji and Uruguay.

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