England unchanged for World Cup final against Springboks

Eddie Jones has resisted the temptation to tinker and named an unchanged starting XV for England’s World Cup final clash with South Africa.

Eddie Jones has resisted the temptation to tinker and named an unchanged starting XV for England’s World Cup final clash with South Africa.

Owen Farrell captains the side, again from inside centre with George Ford retained at No.10, while Jonny May and Kyle Sinckler are passed fit to start.

The sole change to the 23 sees new call-up Ben Spencer, who only arrived in Tokyo on Monday, on the bench in place of the injured Willi Heinz.

Courtney Lawes remains in the second row alongside Maro Itoje while Sam Underhill and Tom Curry pack down either side of Billy Vunipola in the back row.

Mako Vunipola and Jamie George join Sinckler up front while Anthony Watson and Elliot Daly are in the back three, Leicester trio May, Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs round out the backline.

Jones said: “It has been a good week, the players have been together a while now so it’s less about the volume of training this week, it’s more about sharpening the sword.

“South Africa are a difficult opponent and we are going to have to fight really hard to win. We know the physical part of the game is going to be important and the players will go into this game well prepared knowing how we want to play. We will go and play with no fear.

“South Africa will probably play a similar type of game they have played all tournament so we need be good in the arm wrestle and when we have the opportunities to break the game up, we are then confident and composed enough to take them.”

England have remained unbeaten during the tournament having won their pool matches against Tonga (35-3), USA Rugby (45-7) and Argentina (39-10) before the France game was cancelled due to typhoon Hagibis.

England beat Australia 44-16 in the quarterfinal in Oita before defeating New Zealand 19-7 in Yokohama last weekend to progress to the final.

This is the fourth time England have reached the Rugby World Cup Final. They have beaten South Africa in their last two Test matches.

Jones will be in charge of England for the 50th time this weekend and will be only the third England coach to reach this milestone. He has the best win rate (80%) of any head coach of England.

England starting XV 15 Elliot Daly (Saracens, 38 caps) 14 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 41 caps) 13 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 39 caps) 12 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 78 caps) (c) 11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 51 caps) 10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 64 caps) 9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 94 caps)

1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 57 caps) 2 Jamie George (Saracens, 44 caps) 3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 30 caps) 4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 33 caps) 5 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 80 caps) 6 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 18 caps) 7 Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 14 caps) 8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 50 caps)

Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 20 caps) 17 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 67 caps) 18 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 94 caps) 19 George Kruis (Saracens, 40 caps) 20 Mark Wilson (Sale Sharks/Newcastle Falcons 17 caps) 21 Ben Spencer (Saracens, 3 caps) 22 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 26 caps) 23 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 46 caps)