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Farrell back to captain England as Jones rings changes for Ireland visit

Farrell back to captain England as Jones rings changes for Ireland visit
  • England make ten changes to their XV as they look to get back on track following last weekend's defeat to Wales
  • Farrell starts at inside centre, with George Ford keeping the fly-half jersey
  • Mako Vunipola is back on the bench following a long-term injury

Captain Owen Farrell will make his first England start of the summer when Ireland visit Twickenham on Saturday, with Eddie Jones ringing the changes ahead of their third Rugby World Cup warm-up clash.

Farrell will start at inside centre in the middle of an intriguing midfield that sees George Ford keep his place at fly-half and Manu Tuilagi brought in at outside centre.

The back row also has a fascinatng look to it, with Tom Curry and Sam Underhill either side of Billy Vunipola.

Jonny May – the 2019 Guinness Six Nations’ top try-scorer – makes his first appearance of the summer on the left wing, with Joe Cokanasiga shifted to the right.

Joe Marler, Jamie George and Kyle Sinckler form a new-look front row, while George Kruis partners Maro Itoje at lock. Ben Youngs is recalled, while Elliot Daly remains at full-back and Mako Vunipola is on the bench following injury.

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“The players have come back in a very good physical and mental state and we have had a good preparation this week. We purposefully made the week short looking ahead to the World Cup where this might happen beyond our control,” said Jones.

“It is the third of four games for us and come the 8th of September, 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.”

England starting XV v Ireland
15. Elliot Daly (Saracens)
14. Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby)
13. Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
12. Owen Farrell (Saracens)
11. Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
10. George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
1. Joe Marler (Harlequins)
2. Jamie George (Saracens)
3. Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens)
5. George Kruis (Saracens)
6. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens)

16. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
18. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
20. Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons/Sale Sharks)
21. Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby)
22. Piers Francis (Northampton Saints)
23. Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)