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Eight changes to England side to face Los Pumas for bronze

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: England head coach Steve Borthwick has made five changes to his forward pack and three in the backs to his starting XV to face Argentina for the World Cup bronze medal at Stade de France on Friday.

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Fellow flank Tom Curry will earn his 50th test cap for England. He has started in 48 of his 49 career tests, earning just one cap off the bench against Georgia in 2020.

Ben Youngs earns his first start at RWC 2023 after playing 53 minutes in total off the bench across two appearances. This will be the first time since the 2021 Six Nations against Scotland that England have started Youngs and Owen Farrell alongside each other in the halves.

Borthwick has selected a new front row comprising Ellis Genge, Theo Dan and Will Stuart. Ollie Chessum joins Maro Itoje in the second row, flank Sam Underhill earns a start, scrumhalf Alex Mitchell drops to the bench in favour of Ben Youngs, Henry Arundell comes in on the left wing for Elliot Daly and Marcus Smith returns at fullback as Freddie Steward moves to the wing.

Prop Will Stuart earns his first RWC start after playing three games off the bench.

Back-row Sam Underhill will play his first test for England since the second test against Australia in Brisbane on their 2022 tour. This will be his first RWC game since the 2019 final in Yokohama.

Ben Earl has played the most minutes of any England player at RWC 2023 with 413. He has beaten the third-most defenders of any forward (20) behind Argentina prop Thomas Gallo (21) and New Zealand’s Ardie Savea (23) and has made the third-most tackles of any player at RWC 2023 with 66.

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After scoring five tries in his only RWC appearance so far, wing Henry Arundell will look to surpass Chris Ashton’s England record of six tries scored in 2011.

England: 15 Marcus Smith, 14 Freddie Steward, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Henry Arundell, 10 Owen Farrell (captain), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Ben Earl, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tom Curry, 5 Ollie Chessum, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Theo Dan, 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Bevan Rodd, 18 Dan Cole, 19 David Ribbans, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Alex Mitchell, 22 George Ford, 23 Ollie Lawrence

Date: Friday, October 27
Venue: Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Kick-off: 21.00 (19.00 GMT: 20.00 UK & Ireland time, 16.00 ART)
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Nika Amashukeli (England), Andrew Brace (Ireland)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)

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