Rugby World Cup 2019: Ford to captain England as Jones makes 10 changes

By Patric Ridge 24 September 2019 40
Rugby World Cup 2019: Ford to captain England as Jones makes 10 changes

Eddie Jones has made 10 changes to his England side to face the United States in the Rugby World Cup.

England ran out 35-3 winners in their opening Pool C match against Tonga - Manu Tuilagi starring with two tries before Jamie George and Luke Cowan-Dickie secured a bonus point after the interval.

However, only five players who started in that fixture in Sapporo will take to the field from the off against the USA on Thursday as coach Jones looks to rotate his squad given the short turnaround.

George Ford will captain England, with Dan Cole, who will join Jonny Wilkinson as the third most-capped England player, and Cowan-Dickie coming into the front row alongside Joe Marler, who keeps his spot.

Ben Youngs will match Cole and Wilkinson on 91 caps should he make an appearance from the bench.

After his efforts on Sunday, Tuilagi has been handed a rest. Elliot Daly, Tom Curry and Billy Vunipola - who was the target of some heavy hitting from Tonga - retain their places.

"The four-day turnaround is something we experimented with against Japan last autumn and so the players have had some experience of it," Jones said.

"You have to make sure the two days before the game are exactly the same as you would normally have for any other game.

"So for us, a short and fast run tomorrow and today is an active recovery day. What I see now is players handling it really well but the game on Thursday will be the litmus test."

England: Elliot Daly, Ruaridh McConnochie, Jonathan Joseph, Piers Francis, Joe Cokanasiga, George Ford, Willi Heinz; Joe Marler, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, George Kruis, Tom Curry, Lewis Ludlam, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Jack Singleton, Ellis Genge, Kyle Sinckler, Courtney Lawes, Mark Wilson, Ben Youngs, Owen Farrell, Anthony Watson.

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Patric Ridge