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England Make Wholesale Changes Ahead Of USA Clash

England head coach Eddie Jones has made ten changes to his starting XV ahead of his side’s Pool C match against USA at Kobe Misaki Stadium on Thursday.

Joe Marler, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola, George Ford, and Elliot Daly are the only remaining names from the XV who started in their 35-3 victory over Tonga on Sunday.

Owen Farrell drops to the bench which means that Ford takes up the mantle of captain for the game in the Saracens’ man’s absence.

Willi Heinz will start at scrum half with Piers Francis and Jonathan Joseph selected in the centres. Joe Cokanasiga and Ruaridh McConnochie will play on the wings with Daly named at fullback.

Dan Cole will win his 91st cap for England, putting him joint third on the all-time list alongside Jonny Wilkinson and Ben Youngs will join him should he come off the bench.

The last time England made 10 changes was in 2003, when they went on to win it. In that tournament, they did it twice.

In quotes on England Rugby’s website, Jones spoke on the quick turnaround from the Tongan game as well as his thinking behind the team selection.

“The four-day turnaround is something we experimented with against Japan last autumn and so the players have had some experience of it. 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.”

Elsewhere their opponents, USA, named four Irish born players in their starting XV with AJ MacGinty, John Quill, Tony Lamborn and Cam Dolan all involved.

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England team vs USA:

1. Joe Marler
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie
3. Dan Cole
4. Joe Launchbury
5. George Kruis
6. Tom Curry
7. Lewis Ludlam
8. Billy Vunipola
9. Willi Heinz
10. George Ford (capt.)
11. Joe Cokanasiga
12. Piers Francis
13. Jonathan Joseph
14. Ruaridh McConnochie
15. Elliot Daly

Replacements:

16. Jack Singleton
17. Ellis Genge
18. Kyle Sinckler
19. Courtney Lawes
20. Mark Wilson
21. Ben Youngs
22. Owen Farrell
23. Anthony Watson

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Author: Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here [email protected]