England announce Women’s World Cup squad – as big names miss out

The England squad for the Women’s World Cup has been announced, with Lucy Bronze, Lauren James and Mary Earps among the 23-player squad.

Beth Mead, who won the Golden Boot in last year’s Euro 2022 triumph, has been recovering from an ACL injury sustained in November and will miss out.

Captain Leah Williamson and midfielder Fran Kirby, who are injured, are also among those who will not be going to the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

England’s first game is against Haiti on 22 July and they will also play Denmark and China.

Expectations are high for Sarina Wiegman’s team after winning last summer’s Euro 22 tournament.

They also beat Brazil in the first-ever Women’s Finalissima in April this year.

The squad was announced at Sutton Coldfield’s Boldmere St Michaels FC to “highlight the strong connection between the grassroots game and England teams”.

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Here’s the full squad:

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps (Man Utd), Ellie Roebuck (Man City), Hannah Hampton (Aston Villa).

Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Alex Greenwood (Man City), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Keira Walsh (Barcelona), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), Ella Toone (Man Utd), Jordan Nobbs (Aston Villa), Laura Coombs (Man City), Katie Zelem (Man Utd)

Forwards: Alessia Russo (Man Utd), Rachel Daly (Aston Villa), Lauren Hemp (Man City), Chloe Kelly (Man City), Lauren James (Chelsea), Katie Robinson (Brighton), Bethany England (Tottenham)

Analysis from Sky Sports News reporter Anton Toloui

There are a couple of surprises. The goalkeepers are unchanged from the Euros last summer.

Mary Earps is the undisputed number one. There is very good news for England fans in defence as both Millie Bright and Lucy Bronze are both in the squad after end-of-season knee surgeries.

There is no place for Maya Le Tissier. Jordan Nobbs and Laura Coombs both had strong seasons to earn their places in the squad.

It’s interesting that Katie Zelem is in as she was left out of the last England squad. She’s probably in this one because there’s no Leah Williamson so they need another back-up holding midfielder.

Up front, there is even more intrigue as Bethany England is included after a sensational start to her Tottenham career.

After 12 goals in 12 games for Spurs, Sarina Wiegman decides to give her a recall despite England not playing for England since September.

Manchester United’s Maya Le Tissier and Man City player Jess Park have not made the squad.

Park, who is on loan to Everton, is on the standby list.

Wiegman has said in a news conference after the squad announcement: “The last week has been pretty stressful. We’ve had to make hard decisions in the last period. It’s nice for the ones who are in, it’s not nice for the ones who aren’t.

“We’ve had very good conversations with the tactical staff, we follow the players very closely. But it’s been really hard.”

Wiegman also said she had some very enjoyable phone calls with players who found out they had made the squad.

Giving her thoughts on the selection, former England goalkeeper Carly Telford told Sky Sports News: “It’s good to see Millie Bright on that list. I think we’ll all be relieved about that.

“She’s [Wiegman] gone with experience in Jordan Nobbs. It’s great to see her back, along with Katie Zelem – I think they’re going to be important.

“There’s some freshness in there. Katie Robinson’s a very exciting prospect.

“No Jess Park, which is disappointing, but her injury towards the end of the season probably hindered her a little bit.

“It’s a solid squad. It’s got good versatility and good depth.”