Eddie Jones has made one change to his starting England XV for Sunday’s Autumn Nations Cup final at Twickenham, Anthony Watson replacing the injured Jonathan Joseph on the right wing to face France. It is the most experienced England team of all time with 813 caps
Jones has also gone for a five/three forwards/backs split on the bench compared to the 6/2 selection used in last Saturday’s win over Wales, Jack Willis losing out to Max Malins and Joe Marchant returning from injury to take the spot of the promoted Watson.
Jonny May continues at left wing and Elliot Daly is at full-back. Captain Owen Farrell stays at inside centre and Henry Slade at outside centre, while George Ford is at fly-half and Ben Youngs at scrum-half.
England’s unchanged forward pack sees Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler and Jamie George in the front row. The tight five is completed with Maro Itoje and Joe Launchbury. Tom Curry and Sam Underhill continue as flankers and Billy Vunipola, making his 50th start for England, is at No8.
The other finishers apart from Malins and Marchant are Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Jonny Hill, Dan Robson and Will Stuart.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) December 4, 2020
Jones had initially cut his England Nations Cup squad from 33 to 27 on Wednesday evening, omitting four backs and two forwards after training the past two days. The four backs released back to their clubs were Joe Cokanasiga, Alex Mitchell, Ollie Thorley and Jacob Umaga, while the two forwards were Alfie Barbeary and Harry Williams.
The latest cut on Friday to 23 has seen fit-again midfielder Ollie Lawrence drop out along with forwards Joe Marler, Charlie Ewels and Willis.
Six Nations champions England reached the final after topping Pool A with wins over Wales, Ireland and Georgia. Jones said: “We’re really looking forward to this final, playing France and having another chance to win a trophy this autumn.
“We’d like to congratulate the tournament organisers on putting this on in difficult circumstances. Over the past two months, the players have put in real effort, worked very hard on and off the pitch and have met the protocols and new ways of working.
“This has been another positive learning week with tough, hard training and we’re looking forward to getting on the pitch in front of our fans and playing a good game of rugby.”
ENGLAND (vs France, Sunday)
15. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 46 caps)
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 45 caps)
13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 33 caps)
12. Owen Farrell (C) (Saracens, 87 caps)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 60 caps)
10. George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 71 caps)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 103 caps)
1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 63 caps)
2. Jamie George (Saracens, 53 caps)
3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 39 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 42 caps)
5. Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 68 caps)
6. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 27 caps)
7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 21 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 55 caps)
16. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 25 caps)
17. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 22 caps)
18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 7 caps)
19. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 3 caps)
20. Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 7 caps)
21. Dan Robson (Wasps, 6 caps)
22. Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 2 caps)
23. Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 4 caps)
Episode 9 – Game Changers
We discuss the tense Wales vs England match from the weekend. Jamie reveals just how ruthless Shaun Edwards is! We speak to Mike Umaga on his son Jacob Umaga, and @OceansApartFilm !
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) December 2, 2020
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