Thu 22 Aug 2019 | 02:13

England bring back the big guns

England bring back the big guns
Thu 22 Aug 2019 | 02:13
England bring back the big guns

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: England coach Eddie Jones brought out the big guns for his team’s World Cup warm-up encounter with Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday.

A different selection strategy for the weekend will see a number of changes to starting XV who faced Wales in Cardiff last weekend.

Captain Owen Farrell (inside centre), Manu Tuilagi (outside centre) and Ben Youngs (scrumhalf) start their first match this series.

Jonny May will make his first appearance this season on the left wing, with Joe Cokanasiga switching to the right wing.

Jamie George, Joe Marler and Kyle Sinckler are named in the front row.

Tom Curry and Sam Underhill return from injury to play in the back row, alongside Billy Vunipola.

George Kruis starts in the second row alongside Maro Itoje.

Mako Vunipola has been named among the replacement, following his recovery from a long-term injury.

“The players have come back in a very good physical and mental state and we have had a good preparation this week,” Jones said.

“We purposefully made the week short looking ahead to the World Cup where this might happen beyond our control.

“It is the third of four games for us and comes September 8, when we get on the plane, we want to be ready to go. This is another step forward for us.

“This weekend we will be looking to gain more game fitness and testing different sorts of game strategies. We have a specific way of how we want to play and the focus is very much on ourselves.”

On England’s last game at Twickenham before heading to Japan, Jones added: “We have been so appreciative of the support we have had at Twickenham this year and this is our last match there before the tournament, so we look forward to playing well in front of our fans.”

England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tom Curry, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Jonathan Joseph.

Date: Saturday, August 24
Venue: Twickenham Stadium, London
Kick-off: 15.00 (14.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Alex Ruiz (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)

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