Rugby World Cup 2019: England make 10 changes for USA match

Eddie Jones has shuffled his side for England’s second match of the World Cup against USA on Thursday, making 10 changes from the win over Tonga.

Head coach Jones has named captain Owen Farrell on the bench with George Ford set to take the armband in Kobe.

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Ford, Elliot Daly, Tom Curry, Joe Marler and Billy Vunipola are the only players retained from Sunday’s opening match victory.

Lewis Ludlam will make a first World Cup start at openside flanker, with Ruaridh McConnochie, Willi Heinz, Joe Cokanasiga, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Piers Francis also set for their first taste of World Cup rugby.

Heinz will start at scrum-half with Francis and Jonathan Joseph selected in the centres. Cokanasiga and McConnochie will play on the wings with Daly named at full-back.

Dan Cole is set to join Jonny Wilkinson as England’s joint-third most-capped men’s international player on 91 caps by featuring on Thursday. Ben Youngs, also on 90 caps, has been named among the replacements.

Meanwhile, Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell remain injury absentees and are not due to be ready until the third pool match against Argentina on Sunday.

“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.”

“It is our best 23 and we have looked at some players that would benefit not playing in this game so have kept them out of the 23. But it is a great opportunity for another set of players to do the team proud.”


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