David Strettle
David Strettle has signed a three-year deal to join ClermontGetty Images

David Strettle has agreed to pull out of England's pre-World Cup training squad, citing a desire to begin the next phase of his domestic career with Clermont Auvergne as soon as possible.

The experienced wing, who last featured for his country during a summer tour of Argentina in 2013, called time on his successful five-year stint with Aviva Premiership champions Saracens last month by agreeing to join the beaten Top 14 finalists on a three-year contract.

After scoring eight tries in all competitions last season, Strettle returned to the international fold alongside Chris Ashton in May. He was named in Stuart Lancaster's extended 50-man party who will train at altitude in Denver, Colorado, prior to this summer's tournament, as well as at their traditional base in Surrey.

Strettle will not be considered for the final squad due to be finalised in August, however, with the player confirming his intention to hit the ground running in France.

"The opportunity to join Clermont and the subsequent decision to leave Saracens obviously was difficult and not one I have taken lightly," he said.

"Having now committed to a three-year move at what I feel is the right time in my career and for my family, I would like to begin that challenge right away.

"With the England training camp beginning this week, I wanted to be fair to Stuart and the rest of the squad before that started. It goes without saying that I wish England the very best for the tournament and I will be supporting them all the way.

"I am extremely proud to have represented England and will look fondly back on the 14 caps I have won for my country since 2007."

As has been well documented by the respective absences of Toulon flanker Steffon Armitage and impressive full-back Nick Abendanon, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) is currently committed to selecting players who play their club rugby in England.

A move to Clermont would therefore appear to signal the end of Strettle's England career. Indeed, it is likely that he would not have made the squad at all had the decision over his future been reached before the selection was announced.

"Clearly a lot has been going on with David recently with the late interest from Clermont and his decision to leave Saracens," Lancaster said. "After visiting France recently and discussing it with his family, he has made the decision to move early to get settled before the season in France starts.

"Obviously, it is disappointing but David and I have chatted and he feels that, having made the move, he wants to get on with forging his new career and we both agreed it was the best course of action for him to withdraw from the squad.

Strettle's replacement is Bath's Semesa Rokoduguni. The Fijian-born former soldier was a key part of arguably one of the most explosive and dynamic backlines in European rugby at The Rec last term, but did not feature for England during this year's Six Nations and made just one solitary appearance – against New Zealand – during the 2014 Autumn series.

"I'm delighted to have been given the opportunity to join England for their World Cup training camp," said Rokoduguni. "It's a huge privilege and I'm really looking forward to meeting up with the boys."

Prior to Strettle's decision, England had already lost two players from their World Cup training squad with injury-prone centre Manu Tuilagi having been deemed unavailable for selection until January 2016 after pleading guilty to three charges of assault and one of criminal damage and being fined £6,205 (€8,650) at Leicester Magistrates' Court in May.

First-choice hooker Dylan Hartley, meanwhile, has been replaced by Jamie George after being banned for four weeks as a result of his headbutt on the latter during Northampton's 29-24 Premiership semi-final defeat to Saracens at Franklin's Gardens.