Ford leads new-look England against USA
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: George Ford will captain England for Thursday’s game against the USA following their 35-3 win over Tonga on Sunday.
Head coach Eddie Jones has made ten changes to his team.
Dan Cole, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Joe Marler are named in the front row while Joe Launchbury and George Kruis will play in the second row.
Dan Cole will play his 91st Test for England becoming the third most capped England men’s player alongside Jonny Wilkinson. Youngs, who is named as a replacement, will join Cole and Wilkinson if he features during the game.
Tom Curry and Billy Vunipola retain their place in the back row with Lewis Ludlam starting at openside flank.
Willi Heinz will start at scrumhalf with Piers Francis and Jonathan Joseph selected in the centres. Joe Cokanasiga and Ruaridh McConnochie will play on the wings with Elliot Daly named at fullback.
Jones said: “The four-day turnaround is something we experimented with against Japan last autumn [November] and so the players have had some experience of it. You have to make sure the two days before the game are exactly the same as you would normally have for any other game. So for us, a short and fast run tomorrow [Wednesday] and today [Tuesday] is an active recovery day. What I see now is players handling it really well but the game on Thursday will be the litmus test.”
On the team selected for the match Jones said: “It is our best 23 and we have looked at some players that would benefit not playing in this game so have kept them out of the 23. But it is a great opportunity for another set of players to do the team proud.”
#ENGvUSA Here’s your England team to face the USA in Kobe City on Thursday 🌹
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) September 24, 2019
England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Ruaridh McConnochie, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Joe Cokanasiga, 10 George Ford (captain), 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Lewis Ludlam, 6 Tom Curry, 5 George Kruis, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Anthony Watson.
Date: Thursday, September 26
Venue: Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe City
Kick-off: 19.45 (11.45 UK time, 06.45 USA Eastern time, 10.45 GMT)
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)