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International

England and Wales Make Changes for Second Test

Both England and Wales have made changes for their second World Cup warm-up game

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(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

England and Wales have announced their teams for the second of their two tests against one another ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

The Welsh are looking to bounce-back following last weekend’s 33-19 loss to the English and have only made three changes to starting line-up.

Following Gareth Anscombe’s injury last Sunday, which has left him out of the World Cup, Dan Biggar has been selected at fly-half.

Elsewhere, James Davies comes into the back-row and will play with older brother Jonathan for the first time in a Welsh jersey.

Jake Ball is the only other change to the side as he joins captain Alun Wyn Jones in the second-row, with the rest of the side remaining the same.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland is hoping that his team will be able to come back after last weeks’ loss and admitted his squad’s disappointment in the ending of their 14-game winning streak.

“This weekend is another opportunity for us to take the field, test ourselves and continue our preparation for Japan. It is a little over five weeks until we kick off our campaign in Toyota against Georgia and it is important we are fully prepared and rugby-ready by then. We were disappointed to get the loss last weekend so it is important we step it up on Saturday and put in a big display in front of a packed Principality Stadium. The squad are looking forward to getting back out there, taking another step towards the RWC and putting in a big performance,” he said.

The visitors have also made three changes to their starting XV with Ruaridh McConnochie set for his first start a week late after being named in the team last weekend before withdrawing through injury.

There are returns to the line-up for the experienced duo of Maro Itoje and Courtney Lawes, meaning that Lewis Ludlam moves to openside flanker.

There is also plenty of experience on the bench too with Owen Farrell, Jamie George and Kyle Sinckler all in line for their first piece of action in the World Cup warm-ups.

England head coach Eddie Jones is looking forward to the match and insists that there is a strategy in place for the rotation of players.

“Our selection strategy for our second game is similar to the first, so a bit of a mix-and-match approach. We are looking at different combinations and have a particular strategy for this game. The game is very much about ourselves preparing for the World Cup and we are respectful that we have got such strong opposition at their home ground. We are looking forward to it. The squad has been progressing well this week and I think there is a realisation among the squad now that the hard work really starts, nothing has been achieved,” he said.

The game will be the second test between the two sides in the past week, with both building momentum ahead of the Rugby World Cup. There is plenty at stake for both teams with England hoping to defeat the Six Nations Grand Slam champions in back-to-back games while Wales will be seeking revenge following last week’s loss to their old rivals.

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squads Below.

Wales:

15. Liam Williams (Saracens) (56 Caps)

14. George North (Ospreys) (84 Caps)

13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (74 Caps)

12. Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (16 Caps)

11. Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues) (11 Caps)

10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints) (71 Caps)

9. Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (42 Caps)

1. Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (29 Caps)

2. Ken Owens (Scarlets) (65 Caps)

3. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (41 Caps)

4. Jake Ball (Scarlets) (33 Caps)

5. Alun Wyn Jones (C) (Ospreys) (126 Caps)

6. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (9 Caps)

7. James Davies (Scarlets) (3 Caps)

8. Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (32 Caps)

Replacements:

16. Elliot Dee (Dragons) (19 Caps)

17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (13 Caps)

18. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues) (13 Caps)

19. Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (18 Caps)

20. Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues) (16 Caps)

21. Aled Davies (Ospreys) (17 Caps)

22. Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues) (1 Cap)

23. Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (14 Caps)

England:

15 Elliot Daly (Saracens, 31 caps)

14 Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby, uncapped)

13 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 41 caps)

12 Piers Francis (Northampton Saints, 5 caps)

11 Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 5 caps)

10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 56 caps) C

9 Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 1 cap)

1 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 10 caps)

2 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 12 caps)

3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 86 caps)

4 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 59 caps)

5 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 27 caps)

6 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 72 caps)

7 Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 1 cap)

8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 42 caps)

Replacements:

16 Jamie George (Saracens, 37 caps)

17 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 59 caps)

18 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 22 caps)

19 George Kruis (Saracens, 33 caps)

20 Jack Singleton (Saracens, 1 cap)

21 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 86 caps)

22 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 70 caps)

23 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 33 caps)

International

England Demolish Terrible Ireland

England set new records against Ireland in what was a stand-out performance from the home side

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(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

England thrashed Ireland 57-15 at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon in what was a record win for the English over their visitors.

Eddie Jones’ side secured a record points total against Ireland surpassing their previous 50 points scored against the Irish 19 years ago, while the win also gave them a record winning margin over the men in green.

The home side started well with captain Owen Farrell knocking over a penalty as early as the 7th minute.

However, Ireland bounced back with a Jordan Larmour try coming within two minutes of that score and Ross Byrne kicked the conversion to make it 7-3.

Ireland gave up their lead as quickly as they gained it when England broke out right with Elliot Daly providing the killer pass for Joe Cokanasiga to stroll over for five-points. Farrell couldn’t provide the extras, but it was 8-7 with 12 minutes on the clock.

The game became a more even contest over the next ten minutes with Ireland only getting the next score on 25 minutes courtesy of a brilliant 42 metre Byrne penalty.

That was the best it got for Ireland as Daly and man of the match Manu Tuilagi got in for further tries before half-time to leave it at 22-10 going into the second-half.

Things went from bad to worse for the Irish in the second period with England scoring a try five minutes in as an over-thrown line-out was gathered up and Maro Itoje burst through the defence to touchdown under the posts.

The floodgates were well and truly open after that try as Itoje’s second-row partner George Kruis got in on the try-scoring act in the 53rd minute and was followed up by Tom Curry who scored the team’s sixth try four minutes later.

Cokanasiga made a wonderful break through the Irish defence to score his second try of the game on 65 minutes to make it 50-10 with another Farrell conversion.

Ireland fought back late on and a brilliant step from Bundee Aki left him in the English 22 where he raced down the touchline and dived in for a try while holding off Daly.

England got the last laugh however as substitute Luke Cowan-Dickie caught an over-thrown Irish line-out and barged over for their eighth and final try. Farrell converted to leave it at 57-15 to the hosts.

A worrying sign for the English was the late yellow card received by Kruis who was fortunate not to see red as well as Mako Vunipola’s departure from the game after coming on as a sub.

Ireland will need to dust themselves down quickly and sort out their problems as they head to the Principality next weekend to face Wales, while England will hope that this is the start of what’s to come as they look more and more like World Cup contenders.

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International

Mallinder Leaves RFU for Scotland

Jim Mallinder is set to depart the RFU and take up a role with Scotland

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(Photo by Steve Bardens - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Imagesges)

Jim Mallinder has been confirmed as Scottish Rugby’s new performance director following Scott Johnson’s departure earlier this year.

By taking up the new role in Scotland Mallinder leaves the Rugby Football Union where he has been for some time.

Mallinder admitted that he is sad to leave the RFU behind, but he is also looking forward to his new challenge.

“I’m sad to be leaving the RFU as I’ve really enjoyed my time here, in particular getting to work with some fantastic people in a wide range of roles within the men’s pathway. I will miss working with them all but this was an opportunity that I couldn’t refuse. It’s a chance to lead a long-term programme, work with talented people, and I’m looking forward to moving up to Scotland and getting started,” he said.

Mallinder worked in the English club game for a while, leading the likes of the England Saxons and recently lead an England XV to victory over the Barbarians.

RFU professional director of rugby Nigel Melville thanked Mallinder for his service and wished him luck in his new role.

“I’d like to thank Jim for all the work he’s done within the player pathway over the past year and, on behalf of everyone at the RFU, wish him all the best for his new role with Scottish Rugby,” he said.

Mallinder brings plenty of experience having coached Sale Sharks and Northampton Saints in the Premiership, as well as coaching the England U21’s to the Six Nations in 2006 and working with many underage teams in England during his time.

His new role will see him take over a leading role in the Scotland’s new Super6 competition for semi-professional players, while he will also look after player development, the Scotland Sevens team and the Scotland Women’s team in what is a huge challenge for the now former RFU man.

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International

Farrell Starts at Centre for England

England head coach Eddie Jones has confirmed his England side to take on Ireland this weekend

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

England head coach Eddie Jones has announced his 23-man squad to play Ireland in his side’s third World Cup warm-up game this Saturday at Twickenham.

Following last weekend’s 13-6 defeat to Wales Jones is hoping his side will bounce back against a team they dominated away from home earlier this year in the Six Nations and Jones has chosen to pick Owen Farrell to test out a different side to the one who lost to the Welsh.

In the front-row Joe Marler starts alongside Jamie George and Kyle Sinckler, with Maro Itoje and George Kruis behind them against the second-row.

The back-row is made up of Tom Curry and Sam Underhill on either side of Billy Vunipola in what is a formidable looking pack.

 Ben Youngs tarts in at scrum-half and is joined by George Ford who continues at fly-half, with captain Farrell opening at inside centre and Manu Tuilagi beside him at outside centre.

Jonny May takes the 11 jersey, while Joe Cokanasiga is on the right-wing and Elliot Daly completes the starting XV from full-back.

On the bench they have the likes of Courtney Lawes and Jonathan Joseph joined by Mako Vunipola and Mark Wilson to call on, with the latter two set return from injury.

England will want to avoid a second defeat in a row heading into the World Cup and a win for them would see them leap over South Africa into fourth place in the World Rankings.

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below.

Starting XV:

Elliot Daly; Joe Cokanasiga, Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell, Jonny May; George Ford, Ben Youngs; Joe Marler, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler; Maro Itoje, George Kruis; Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola. 

Replacements:

 Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Dan Cole, Courtney Lawes, Mark Wilson, Willi Heinz, Piers Francis, Jonathan Joseph.

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