Saints scrum-half Mitchell added to England's World Cup squad

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Saints scrum-half Alex Mitchell has been called up to England's Rugby World Cup squad, taking the place of the injured Jack van Poortvliet.

Leicester Tigers No.9 van Poortvliet requires surgery on an ankle injury he picked up during the 19-17 World Cup warm-up win against Wales at Twickenham on Saturday.

That has opened the door for Mitchell, who, to the surprise of many, was not part of Steve Borthwick's initial plans.

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Mitchell joins Tigers man Ben Youngs and Harlequins ace Danny Care in the 33-man squad for the tournament in France.

Alex Mitchell (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)Alex Mitchell (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Alex Mitchell (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Courtney Lawes, who started against Wales at the weekend, and Lewis Ludlam are the other Saints representatives with England.

Following van Poortvliet's injury on Saturday, Borthwick said: "We had Alex Mitchell in camp earlier in our preparation period, and he played in the Six Nations as well.

“He was involved in four of the five games during the Six Nations, and I’ve asked all of the standby players to be ready to be the next man in."

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On van Poortvliet, Borthwick said: “It’s really bad luck for Jack, and we send him our very best wishes for a swift and successful recovery."

England take on Ireland in their next World Cup warm-up match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin this Saturday (kick off 5.30pm).