RWC 2019 Warm-up III: England Team to Play Ireland

Eddie Jones

England men’s head coach Eddie Jones has named his squad to play Ireland as part of the Quilter Internationals on Saturday at Twickenham Stadium (KO 3pm live on Sky Sports).

A different selection strategy for the weekend will see a number of changes to starting XV who faced Wales in Cardiff last weekend.

Captain Owen Farrell (inside centre), Manu Tuilagi (outside centre) and Ben Youngs (scrum half) start their first match this series. Jonny May will make his first appearance this season on the left wing with Joe Cokanasiga switching to the right wing.

Jamie George, Joe Marler and Kyle Sinckler are named in the front row. Tom Curry and Sam Underhill return from injury to play in the back row alongside Billy Vunipola while George Kruis starts in the second row alongside Maro Itoje.

Mako Vunipola has been named as a finisher following his recovery from long-term injury.

Jones said: “The players have come back in a very good physical and mental state and we have had a good preparation this week. We purposefully made the week short looking ahead to the World Cup where this might happen beyond our control.

“It is the third of four games for us and come the 8th of September, when we get on the plane, we want to be ready to go. This is another step forward for us.

“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.”

On England’s last game at Twickenham before heading to Japan, Jones added: “We have been so appreciative of the support we have had at Twickenham this year and this is our last match there before the tournament, so we look forward to playing well in front of our fans.”

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)
1 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 60 caps)
2 Jamie George (Saracens, 38 caps)
3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 23 caps)
4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 28 caps)
5 George Kruis (Saracens, 34 caps)
6 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 11 caps)
7 Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)
8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 43 caps)

16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 13 caps)
17 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 53 caps)
18 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 87 caps)
19 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 73 caps)
20 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons/Sale Sharks, 13 caps)
21 Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 2 caps)
22 Piers Francis (Northampton Saints, 6 caps)
23 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 42 caps)

24 thoughts on “RWC 2019 Warm-up III: England Team to Play Ireland

  1. Looking a bit more like our first 15. It will be interesting to see if Ford and Farrell can work some magic with Manu at 13. I hope come the WC we see Farrell, Manu and Slade, but it would be nice to see that combination at least once before hand.

    Great to see Mako on the bench ready to make an impact!! Shame we’re not going to see a bit more of Singleton? He hasn’t really had the chance to show his hand yet, and I think he has real potential to shine.
    I would also prefer to see Joseph and Watson in the 22 and 23 shirt.

  2. Getting close to first choice i would think. Although for me there would be a few changes:

    Mako for Marler
    Wilson for Curry or Underhill
    Farrell to move to FH and Slade to come in alongside Manu.
    Watson to come in at FB.
    And Jack Nowell to start in front of Big Joe C

    Looks like Eddie is trying combinations at back row and in the Centre.
    But overall I am looking forward to the match against a very strong Ireland team.

  3. Just checking betting odds on Paddy Power and some took my eye:

    Top Try Scorer

    Jonny May 10/1
    George North 20/1
    Liam WIlliams 25/1

    To Win
    South Africa 9/2

    Knocked Out in the Group
    Scotland 5/1

    For Try scorer i’d be tempted with £10 on May and a silly £1 on North ans WIlliams.

  4. Good team. A little worried about Billy going again, seems risky, but I guess Eddie wants to test the two sevens option with his first choice (only!) 8 in there.

    Another chance for Daly to try to match a top class 15. More Gilberts raining his way, no doubt.

  5. Also a bit worried on Billy in there… 3×80 minutes would seem a bit much and he should definitely be rested for Italy… much as it pains me to say it hope Billy goes off at 40 minutes regardless of score and Wilson covers 8 .. if we get a back row injury Lawes would have to do (the bit that is painful for me to say!)

    Like the look of this team, but would have Watson at FB and either move Daly to wing or have Nowell there if fit. Also think Ford doesnt need another long run out to be honest but guess this is because Slade is crocked and JJ + Francis already played quite a few minutes.

    Hopefully a good game with both countries putting out what i would say are 85% full/final WC 15’s .. question is how much will they both be going for it this close to WC time?

    Good to see how May is going

  6. Always likely that we would put something close to our best XV out for this game.
    Interesting to see how the 2 flankers work, and whether Ford and Farrell can get the best out of the firepower in the back 4.
    Daly at FB again surely means Watson isnt even being considered there. Thats a pity.

  7. Imho Daly is our best and most incisive 13 by some distanceAs such my 9-15 are:
    Youngs -Farrell-May -Daly-Tualagi-Nowell-Watson.
    Clearly Eddie and I see things differently.
    Is he going back to the Ford/Farrell axis for Japan?
    Been tried many times but only really works when we are going forward.

    1. I would have preferred Care, Cipriani, May, Tuilagi, Slade, Nowell, Goode (or Brown). Daly is not a 15, but has not earned a place as a centre either.

  8. Close to 1st team. Likely Wilson on @ 6, with either 1 of Underhill or Curry going to 7. Also MV for Marler; how late? Youngs still seems the go to 9. Is Ford only in because Slade is out? As Farrell is nailed on captain, does this conversely mean Ford is now the 10 starter & Farrell the 12? Probably Farrell 10 & Ford b/up for the WC. Tui & Slade featured midfield in Japan? Nowell WC wing? Seems Daly super-glued @ 15. @ home, will England start & finish as in Dublin? Looks like Jones wants this 1, so expect rocket start. See if they can finish likewise. Ireland should also want this 1, esp to get back on the rails following last yr’s 6N. A mighty, meaty clash. England by 3-5? Maybe.

    1. Seems about right Don. I think Farrell will probably play 12 at the WC. Daly worries me at 15, and I think Young ‘s pass is too slow. Interested to see how Burns goes at 10 for Ireland. I have a feeling Sexton May be close to his sell by date.

      1. Mmm. Maybe right Andy. After all Ford & Farrell have played 10, 12 before. Means Tui dropped then? Thought Eddie preferred a bosh man @ 12? Only other way to play Ford, if Tui, Slade are centres, is @ f/back!? Can’t see this in a million, otherwise would have been tried already, but @ least it would have benched yr pal Daly.

    2. Think I may have been a tad out with my predicted score line. This was an Irish capitulation of gargantuan proportions. A real hammering. Can’t see their beating Wales, or even getting within cooey of them, based on yesterday’s performance. Crisis time? And going into a WC! Rather have the No. 10 (Downing St) job than Joe Schmidt’s. Unless he’s got a pet rabbit & Brunel’s top hat that is.

  9. Suspect this is more scenario planning with EJ. No Sexton prob sees good option to have two playmakers/kickers to put the pressure on the newbie international 10, pin Ireland in their half and see how good Ireland’s exit strategy is with Byrne pulling strings at 10. Really interested to see how Curry and Underhill operate together – both love to smash the oppo and play at tempo so could really cause Ireland problems at the breakdown and in the loose. Concerned with Faz/Tui in that with both tackling isn’t their strong point so can potentially see Aki and Ringrose exposing them if Ireland get some go forward and open up the play. I don’t see this being a spectacle though, more a stare down and see who blinks first. I just think mentally players will be in the mindframe of not trying to peak too soon, injury cautious, and just generally not trying to blow a gasket with risk of not seeing 1min of WC playing time….well apart from Underhill who I think would munch through a piece of iron if he was hungry even with a chicken shop 100 yards in his sight.

  10. Billy could do with a rest. If he gets injured we are in big trouble. Otherwise with the exception of Mako almost a first choice pack.

  11. EJ has basically 3 Approaches:-
    1) The Fast Attack-using Ford at the gain-line,getting runners into the back field and playing from there.The problem with this approach is that it can be stunted by the lack of fast ball and slow service.
    2)The Slower Approach:-Farrell and Youngs kicking for terriority and recycling possession.The problem here is that when attacking in hand Farrell doesn’t have the speed or skill to operate on the gain-line,he is taking the ball further back,which allows the defence to come forward which in turn forces Farrell onto Outside shoulders-As Tuilagi cant play on Inside shoulder he is forced outwards and consequently the 13 and Back3 become glorified Ball Chasers-For this approach to work either Slade or Francis have to play 12.
    3)The Dual Playmaker Approach:-This has the advantage of flexibility-It needs fast ball but Farrell has the necessary heft to follow Ford onto Inside Shoulders.The main problem here is if you use Tuilagi at 13(2 of your best broken field runners,JJ and Henry will be on the bench).

    All the approaches can work but it all depends on the Forwards to secure good ball at speed.

    It may be that EJ”s most important selections will be on the bench.To my mind one of Big Joe and Manu should be on the bench(Both at once smacks of Too Many Cooks).Also,if not starting,Lawes, Sinkler ,and Nowell,who I consider to be a bigger menace to the opposition than the Leicester Lip himself.

  12. 2nd time EJ has picked this back row, I will say again that I think this could be our best although with squad selection I don’t think it will play in RWC. Again, BV needs a rest and, although it will replicate RWC gaps, think Wilson should play at 8. I still think we are short in the back row and would drop RM for Ben Morgan. Might be harsh but he hasn’t been involved at all and we are clearly struggling without an extra forward. Other than that, with all the contingency planning don’t understand why we can’t try someone else at FB?

  13. This has been brought up before, but thought it interesting to do so again; there’s only 1 Exeter player, LC-D*, in this squad & then only as a reserve. I know Nowell•, Shade• are injured, but nevertheless, wondered if, amongst the following, some others could have been included in the/this England team? This is bearing in mind that, on games played, Exeter ‘won’ the Premiership. Yeandle (who Andy’s already mentioned before), Moon, Williams*, Hill, Armand, Ewers*, Kvesic, Simmonds, Maunder, Devoto, Short, Woodburn. *=international players of course. With the Vunipolas & Tui all injury prone, there’s an Exeter fr row & centre (incl a potential pairing?) available, along with multiple back row options. Remember, Underhill & Curry are also injury risks. Plus 1 of the 2 wings may have been alternatives to the defensively vulnerable Coka. The extra 1/2back makes sense to me, also as injury cover. Of course any potential inclusions would mean the jettisoning of some current players. So, whom to leave in or not may prove problematical, but would any inclusions strengthen the team?

        1. Ah, but has it been satisfactorily dealt with ML? Combos & all that. Unless you deem the current E squad the finished article?

      1. Lots of those are close but miss out to better players
        Williams probably most unfortunate but obviously Eddie has been reading your posts on here and opt for that all important EXP in Cole
        Devoto can also feel hard done by as he is similar style to Francis but a better player

        1. Flattered if Ed reads mine.. or am I? Better individuals? Maybe, I can’t state for sure like you. However, yr contention ignores combinations & the fact that Ex finished top o’ the log in the ‘regular’ season. Team of stars v star team scenario? Ed might have missed a trick.. & you? Unless you’re convinced that the current team will do the bizzo of course. Time’ll tell.

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