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England change 11 starters and include non-RWC pick on their bench

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Steve Borthwick has made 11 changes to his England XV for this Saturday’s Summer Nations Series rematch with Wales in London, granting Ben Earl his first-ever Test start after 15 caps off the bench and including Elliot Daly, Joe Marler, Courtney Lawes and Billy Vunipola for their first international starts since the head coach took over from Eddie Jones last winter.


England were beaten 9-20 last weekend by the Welsh, failing to build on a 9-6 interval lead. They then confirmed on Monday their official squad of 33 for the Rugby World Cup but one of the 10 players who didn’t make the cutJonny Hill – is named on the bench for this Saturday’s Twickenham match.

Hill and fellow RWC omissions Jonny May and Guy Porter were back training with England on Tuesday despite not being included in the squad that will go to France, and the second row Hill will now provide Summer Nations Series bench cover this weekend as David Ribbans is unavailable due to his HIA last weekend in Wales.

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The Bunker explained in rugby

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The Bunker explained in rugby

The four repeat starters for this second warm-up outing are full-back Freddie Steward, outside centre Joe Marchant, tighthead Will Stuart and second row George Martin. Steward now has Henry Arundell and Elliot Daly as his supporting wingers, Ollie Lawrence will partner Marchant in the midfield while World Cup skipper Owen Farrell is paired with Jack van Poortvliet at half-back.

Marler and Jamie George join Stuart in the front row, Maro Itoje will partner Martin at lock, while the revamped back row consists of Lawes, Earl and Vunipola.

Team Form

Last 5 Games

Tries Scored
Points Difference
First Try
First Points
Race To 10 Points

Dan Cole, Jack Willis, Ben Youngs are the new names on the bench this weekend, with Ellis Genge – who will win his 5oth cap if he plays – and Malins dropping down from last weekend’s XV. Theo Dan, Hill and George Ford are the three repeat bench picks.

Regarding the bench selection of Hill, who missed out on World Cup selection, Borthwick explained: “Jonny has trained with us throughout the week and I am pleased to be able to name him in the match day 23. I have no doubt he will provide a big impact for us off the bench.”


England (vs Wales, Saturday – 5:30pm)
15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 23 caps)
14. Henry Arundell (Racing 92, 7 caps)
13. Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 16 caps)
12. Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 11 caps)
11. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 57 caps)
10. Owen Farrell © (Saracens, 106 caps)
9. Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 13 caps)
1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 79 caps)
2. Jamie George (Saracens, 77 caps)
3. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 26 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 67 caps)
5. George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)
6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 97 caps)
7. Ben Earl (Saracens, 15 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 68 caps)

16. Theo Dan (Saracens, 1 cap)
17. Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 49 caps)
18. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 100 caps)
19. Jonny Hill (Sale Sharks, 20 caps)
20. Jack Willis (Toulouse, 10 caps)
21. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 122 caps)
22. George Ford (Sale Sharks, 82 caps)
23. Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 19 caps)



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1 Comment
Mark 349 days ago

Glad to see Earl given a start, thoroughly deserved, and George Martin definately warrants another go.
Thank god Farrell is playing 10 and not 12.
No Tuilagi!! Assume he's injured.....again.
Borthwicks window of oppurtunity to field his 1st choice centre pairing prior to the WC looks to be ever narrowing.

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