Rugby World Cup: England boss Eddie Jones names his strongest side for Japan 2019 opener against Tonga

ENGLAND have gone all-guns blazing to take on Tonga as Eddie Jones named his strongest available attack.

Skipper Owen Farrell is back at inside centre and has no.10 George Ford as chief tormentor against the World Cup minnows.

Eddie Jones reckons the heat in Japan will help England in their quest for World Cup glory
Eddie Jones has picked his strongest side available for the World Cup opener
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And Manu Tuilagi will be screaming through the middle with Jonny May, Anthony Watson and Elliot Daly completing a devastating back three in Sapporo.

In the pack Joe Marler has come through yesterday’s injury scare to play – and Courtney Lawes is preferred alongside Maro Itoje in the second row with George Kruis is benched.

‘Kamikaze Kids’ Tom Curry and Sam Underhill have another chance to cause some damage as England’s jackals.

They team-up with no.8 Billy Vunipola in the back-row after the trio tore apart Ireland at Twickenham last month.

Up front Marler, hooker Jamie George and tighthead Kyle Sinckler complete a pack that will be driven around the pitch by scrum-half Ben Youngs on his 90th cap.

After England trained at impressive Sapporo Dome on Friday morning, Jones said: “The focus this week has been about getting right for Tonga.

“We have had a good seven days in Japan where we have acclimatised really well, our sleep patterns are good and the physical conditioning of the players is outstanding.

“We have been able to add a bit more on our team togetherness and cohesion too.

“Now it is about putting in a game plan against Tonga and it is important to be tactically right.

“We know they are going to be ferocious and full of pride and passion. They are a side if they get a bit of momentum they can be very dangerous and are well-coached by Toutai Kefu.

England team to face Tonga

15 Elliot Daly (Saracens, 33 caps)
14 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 36 caps)
13 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 35 caps)
12 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 73 caps) C
11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 47 caps)
10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 59 caps)
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 89 caps)

1 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 62 caps)
2 Jamie George (Saracens, 40 caps)
3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 25 caps)
4 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 75 caps)
5 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 29 caps)
6 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 13 caps)
7 Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 10 caps)
8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 45 caps)

Subs
16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 15 caps)
17 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 12 caps )
18 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 89 caps)
19 George Kruis (Saracens, 35 caps)
20 Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 2 caps)
21 Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 4 caps)
22 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 22 caps)
23 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 42 caps)

“They have a great World Cup record and we will need to be at our best on Sunday.

“I don’t think there is anyone who isn’t excited about getting out there on Sunday and there is a good feeling around the place.

“We are delighted to be up here in Sapporo and to play at the stadium will be a unique experience for us and something the team is looking forward to.”

 

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