Sam Burgess
Burgess is called into England's World Cup squad less than a year after beginning his union career.Getty Images

Sam Burgess and Henry Slade have both been confirmed in the England squad for the Rugby World Cup after the 31-man party was announced by coach Stuart Lancaster. Both Burgess and Slade only made their international debuts in the warm-up win over France and are included in the squad despite their limited experience.

Burgess' inclusion caps a remarkable period for the rugby league convert, who has reached the pinnacle of international rugby union after just nine months playing the code. Northampton's Luther Burrell misses out as a result despite being a key figure in previous squads.

Danny Cipriani's exclusion has also been confirmed, while Ben Morgan has been included at the expense of Nick Easter, after staging a remarkable comeback from six months out with a broken leg. At hooker, Jamie George is included despite just one England appearance, after he replaced Dylan Hartley in the initial squad.

"It's really positive that we have such depth and options to choose from," Lancaster said. "Selection wasn't easy and it is tough to leave anyone out but it's important to stress that the players not in this group are still part of our wider squad and could come in at any point.

"After 10 weeks in camp we have made our final selection of players and we believe we have a great group to take us into the tournament. With three weeks to go before we play Fiji we believe we are in good shape as we head into next Saturday's game against Ireland. As the excitement builds around the tournament we are looking forward to the country getting behind England and we know this group of players will represent the nation with pride."

England start their World Cup campaign against Fiji on 18 September before matches against Wales, Australia and Uruguay in Pool A.

Backs: Mike Brown, Alex Goode, Jack Nowell, Jonny May, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Brad Barritt, Henry Slade, Sam Burgess, George Ford, Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs, Danny Care, Richard Wigglesworth.

Forwards: Tom Youngs, Rob Webber, Jamie George, Joe Marler, Mako Vunipola, Dan Cole, David Wilson, Kieran Brookes, Courtney Lawes, Joe Launchbury, Geoff Parling, George Kruis, James Haskell, Chris Robshaw, Tom Wood, Ben Morgan, Billy Vunipola.