England v Ireland: George Ford and Owen Farrell both start

24 Août, 2019, 16:08 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • 1:37PM
Charlie Morgan's analysis

Here's what to expect from England's new midfield and back row combinations

Maro Itoje and George Kruis are paired together in the second row with Jame George also making his first start of the series at hooker.

George Ford and Owen Farrell will pair up from the start for the first time in 14 months when England host Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday.

"They've still got to get through a training session - they're like the kamikaze kids, those two", he said.

"So we feel like this game we probably need to pass a bit more, and with George at 10 and Owen at 12 we think we can do that. Playing two guys who are pretty good at the breakdown might give us an advantage in that area".

Captain Farrell partners Manu Tuilagi in the centres for the first time in a Test match.

Former age-group worldwide pairing Ford and Farrell last started a Test at 10 and 12 when England lost 23-12 to South Africa in Bloemfontein on June 16, 2018.

Elsewhere in the backline Jonny May will make his first appearance of the season on the left wing with Joe Cokanasiga switching to the right wing.

Meanwhile, Mako Vunipola has been included among the replacements following his recovery from a long-term injury.

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"Again you've got to look at the context of the game, we'd like to win against Ireland but we're preparing for the World Cup, so it just gives us another selection strategy going forward".

"It is the third of four games for us and come 8 September, when we get on the plane, we want to be ready to go". This is another step forward for us, ' Jones said.

England beat Wales at Twickenham, but then lost the return match in Cardiff last week.

England have one more warm-up match after the Ireland game in Newcastle against Italy on September 6 prior to departure for Japan.

"The players have come back in a very good physical and mental state and we have had a good preparation this week", said Jones.

There was no place in the squad for uncapped Bath wing Ruaridh McConnochie, who had to withdraw from both Wales games with late injuries.

Byrne and replacement Jack Carty can now make their case for World Cup selection at Twickenham, with head coach Schmidt assessing all his fly-half options.

Up front, Joe Marler makes a first start since coming out of worldwide retirement, with Jamie George and Kyle Sinckler also returning.

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