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Injured star Mead left off England's World Cup squad

Alex Burstow / Arsenal FC / Getty

Beth Mead has been left out of the England squad for this year's Women's World Cup, but Bethany England returns for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

England boss Sarina Wiegman has recalled England after the striker scored 12 goals for Tottenham in the Women's Super League since joining from Chelsea in January.

England was an unused squad member when Wiegman's team won the Women's European Championship last year and has not featured on the international stage since September.

In a blow to England's hopes of a first World Cup triumph in the women's game, there is no place for Euro 2022 Golden Boot winner Mead.

The Arsenal forward lost her battle to recover in time for the World Cup after sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury in November.

Chelsea centre-back Millie Bright and Barcelona defender Lucy Bronze, also sidelined of late, do feature in a 23-player list.

Leah Williamson and Fran Kirby had already been ruled out due to injury.

Jordan Nobbs is included despite sustaining an injury in Aston Villa's penultimate game of the season.

Katie Zelem has been brought back after not making the last squad in April and there is no recall for Williamson's predecessor as captain Steph Houghton.

"The last week was a little stressful. We had to make hard decisions," Wiegman said on Wednesday.

"It's nice for the ones that are in and not nice for those who aren't.

"Lucy Bronze is fit and is fully in training, Millie Bright is in a good place and positive. She is still building but it looks good."

On Mead's omission from the squad, Wiegman added: "She is so positive and she's going really well. But we set the time schedule she had.

"We would have taken so many risks to try and get her to the World Cup. But to push her too much could mean she gets injured again."

Playing without Mead, Kirby and Williamson is a blow to Wiegman, but she is confident England have the squad depth to cope.

"Of course, most of all for Williamson, it is very sad but that is the same for Fran and Beth," said Wiegman, who confirmed Bright will captain the Lionesses during the World Cup.

"Unfortunately this is a part of top sport. You can get injured. I think of our opportunities and how we get prepared.

"We have some injuries, but we still have a very good squad and good squad depth. We are talking about the 23 we have and we will get ready with this team."

Wiegman's side start their World Cup campaign against Haiti in Brisbane on July 22 and also take on Denmark and China in Group D.

England squad for Women's World Cup

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps (Manchester United), Hannah Hampton (Aston Villa), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City)

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

Midfielders: Laura Coombs (Manchester City), Jordan Nobbs (Aston Villa), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich/GER), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Keira Walsh (Barcelona), Katie Zelem (Manchester United)

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

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