Women's World Cup: England boss Phil Neville names 'world-class' squad

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Women's World Cup 2019: England squad announced by celebrity videos
Women's World Cup
Host nation: France Dates: 7 June - 7 July 2019
Coverage: All games live across the BBC

England manager Phil Neville says he is taking a squad "full of world-class players" to the Women's World Cup in France this summer.

Steph Houghton will captain a 23-strong squad which includes 11 World Cup debutantes, while Karen Carney and Jill Scott will head to a fourth tournament.

Izzy Christiansen, who sustained an ankle injury in March, and veteran Fara Williams have been left out.

"I'm absolutely convinced we can have a successful tournament," said Neville.

England begin their campaign against Scotland on Sunday, 9 June.

They will also face Argentina and 2011 champions Japan in the group stage.

"We've got a squad that is highly motivated, that now has the confidence and belief to go to a World Cup to be successful," added Neville.

"We keep saying it but the hard work starts now and we are going to give it everything we have to make the nation proud."

Competition for places high

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Women's World Cup: The Lionesses 'are ready' for France 2019

Chelsea playmaker Fran Kirby makes the final 23 despite missing recent friendlies against Canada and Spain because of a knee injury, while defender Millie Bright, who missed England's SheBelieves Cup win in March through injury, is also selected.

Wolfsburg's Mary Earps has been handed the third goalkeeper spot ahead of Manchester City's Ellie Roebuck, however there is no place for US-born Orlando Pride forward Chioma Ubogagu.

Earps, Bright, Abbie McManus, Leah Williamson, Demi Stokes, Rachel Daly, Lucy Staniforth, Georgia Stanway, Keira Walsh, Nikita Parris and Beth Mead will all travel to their first World Cup.

Neville says England, who finished third in 2015, are in a "really difficult group" with "three dangerous teams".

"We are the third-ranked team in the world and there is a lot of expectation but our performances have been really good and there is more to come from these players," he added.

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World Cup squad conversations made me emotional - Neville

'Devastated' Christiansen

Lyon midfielder Christiansen was injured playing for the Lionesses as they won the SheBelieves Cup for the first time.

The 27-year-old would have been fit in time for the World Cup, but was left out after other players stepped up and impressed the England boss.

"She was devastated, as you can imagine," Neville said. "I don't think I've seen a player work as hard since SheBelieves trying to get fit for a World Cup.

"She's sacrificed everything in her life to get to this point and the selection is purely on the performance of the other players that have taken their opportunities in midfield."

Christiansen kicks the ball
Izzy Christiansen was injured while playing for England against Japan

An unusual announcement

The Lionesses revealed the squad earlier on Wednesday through a series of social media posts from high-profile supporters, including Prince William, former England men's captain David Beckham and actress Emma Watson.

"We wanted each player to have a special moment when their name was revealed, knowing they are going to a World Cup," boss Neville told BBC Sport.

"It is the biggest thing in their lives and something they've dreamed about.

"We have to make these players visible, we want everybody around the world to buy in to what will be the biggest Women's World Cup of all time."

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We had 'no idea' about squad announcement celebrity messages - Greenwood

England squad

Goalkeepers: Karen Bardsley (Man City), Mary Earps (Wolfsburg), Carly Telford (Chelsea)

Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Lyon), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Alex Greenwood (Man Utd), Steph Houghton (captain, Man City), Abbie McManus (Man City), Demi Stokes (Man City) Leah Williamson (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Karen Carney (Chelsea), Jade Moore (Reading), Jill Scott (Man City), Lucy Staniforth (Birmingham City), Georgia Stanway (Man City), Keira Walsh (Man City)

Forwards: Toni Duggan (Barcelona) Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Nikita Parris (Man City), Jodie Taylor (Seattle Reign), Ellen White (Birmingham City)

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