Eddie makes wholesale changes for Georgia
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Eddie Jones has named his team for England’s first Nations Cup match against Georgia this weekend.
England will open their Nations Cup campaign at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday, November 14 and will be looking to build on a successful return to international rugby after winning the Six Nations last month.
Jack Willis will make his England debut at open-side flank. Owen Farrell will captain the side at flyhalf.
After becoming only the second player to reach 100 caps for England, against Italy, Ben Youngs will play at scrumhalf.
In the front row, Ellis Genge will play loosehead and Will Stuart makes his first start for England at tighthead, with Jamie George, who reached his 50th cap in Rome, at hooker. Charlie Ewels and Joe Launchbury complete the tight five.
Billy Vunipola will continue at No.8, while Maro Itoje will play at blindside flank.
Henry Slade starts at inside centre with Ollie Lawrence, who made his England debut in Rome, at outside centre.
Jonathan Joseph moves to the wing, along with Jonny May, with Elliot Daly returning to the side after injury completing the line-up at fullback.
Max Malins could make his first England appearance after being named as finisher, along with Tom Curry, Tom Dunn, Ben Earl, Joe Marchant, Dan Robson, Kyle Sinckler and Mako Vunipola.
Jones said: “We’ve had a really good week of training. We know there are a lot of expectations on us and we’ve applied ourselves hard and put a lot of pressure on ourselves in the early part of this week.
“Georgia will be a tough opponent, so we have a team with some real power in midfield. We have a good mix of youth and experience across the squad and they are completely focused on putting in an excellent performance on Saturday.
“We’re looking forward to being back at our home at Twickenham, we are humbled by the opportunity and want to give people a reason to smile during such a tough time for the country.”
England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonathan Joseph, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Henry Slade, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell (captain), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jack Willis, 6 Maro Itoje, 5 Joe Launchbury, 4 Charlie Ewels, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Jamie George, 1 Ellis Genge.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Ben Earl, 20 Tom Curry, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Max Malins, 23 Joe Marchant
Date: Saturday, November 14
Venue: Twickenham Stadium, London
Kick-off: 15.00 (15.00 GMT, 19.00 Georgia Time)
Referee: Nigel Owens
Assistant referees: Craig Evans, Dan Jones
TMO: Ben Whitehouse