Rugby World Cup: George Ford DROPPED as Owen Farrell starts at fly-half in Australia quarter-final

GEORGE FORD has sensationally been dropped for the huge quarterfinal with Australia.

Boss Eddie Jones has benched England’s best player of the World Cup and moved skipper Owen Farrell back to fly-half.

George Ford, right, has been dropped for England’s biggest game in Japan – despite being their best player

In the centres Manu Tuilagi is partnered by Henry Slade who makes his first start of the tournament in the 13 shirt.

And in the pack Mako Vunipola comes in for Joe Marler and Courtney Lawes starts ahead of George Kruis in the engine room.

Jones said: “Once you get to the quarter-finals it’s about having the right mindset.

“We know how well we can play, it’s about us playing to our strengths and trying to take away from what Australia want.

“Australia are a clever team, they will have some specific attacking strategies to play against us so we need to have a great situational awareness.

England starting XV

15 Elliot Daly (Saracens, 36 caps)
14 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 39 caps)
13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 23 caps)
12 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 37 caps)
11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 49 caps)
10 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 76 caps) C
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 92 caps)

1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 55 caps)
2 Jamie George (Saracens, 42 caps)
3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 28 caps)
4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 31 caps)
5 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 78 caps)
6 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 16 caps)
7 Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 12 caps)
8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 48 caps)

Subs
16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps)
17 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 65 caps)
18 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 92 caps)
19 George Kruis (Saracens, 38 caps)
20 Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 5 caps)
21 Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 7 caps)
22 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 62 caps)
23 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 44 caps)

“We need to defend with brutality and when we have the ball we need play on top of them.”

Billy Vunipola is fit to start at no.8 with Tom Curry and Sam Underhill completing the back row.

Winger Jonny May wins his 50th cap in an unchanged back three alongside Elliot Daly and Anthony Watson.

Jones added: “It is a great achievement and an honour for Jonny and his family.

“Everyone in the team is really pleased for him. I think this World Cup has really shown how hard he has worked at his game.

“He has come back from a significant knee injury to be close to the fastest winger, if not the fastest winger in the world, and has the ability to score tries from any situation.”

 

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