ENGLAND HEAD COACH Eddie Jones will return to the pairing of Owen Farrell and George Ford as a 10-12 axis when Ireland visit for Saturday’s World Cup warm-up fixture.
It is over a year since Jones has paired the two playmakers from the start, seeking out other centre options alongside Farrell since a summer Test loss in South Africa.
The wealth of talent is no less impressive elsewhere in the England side, with Manu Tuilagi selected outside the captain in midfield, while Elliot Daly, Joe Cokanasiga and Jonny May make up a lightning-quick back three.
Up front, Saracens duo Maro Itoje and George Kruis make up the second row while the flankers promise high levels of work-rate through Tom Curry and Sam Underhill.
Ireland would go top of the World Rugby rankings with a win in Twickenham and England have set out a side that is more than just a threat to that outcome. However, Jones insists their entire focus is on how his side are playing and shaping up ahead of their trip to Japan.
“This weekend we will be looking to gain more game fitness and testing different sorts of game strategies. We have a specific way of how we want to play and the focus is very much on ourselves.”
England starting XV v Ireland
15 Elliot Daly (Saracens, 32 caps)
14 Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 6 caps)
13 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 34 caps)
12 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 71 caps) C
11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 45 caps)
10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 57 caps)
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 87 caps)