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P
Pa
November 27, 2020

George Ford back in England team for Wales clash

Sports

P
Pa
November 27, 2020

LONDON: England have named George Ford at fly-half in their only change for Saturday’s Autumn Nations Cup clash with Wales at Parc y Scarlets.

Ford has been reinstated as playmaker-in-chief after making his comeback from an Achilles injury as a replacement in last weekend’s resounding 18-7 victory over Ireland at Twickenham. The midfield adjustment is partially a result of Ollie Lawrence suffering a hip problem and the knock-on effect is to see captain Owen Farrell join Henry Slade in the centres.

While the rest of the starting XV – including the pack that submitted Ireland in such brutal fashion – have been retained, Eddie Jones has made some adjustments to the bench. Jack Willis is poised to win his second cap after being included in a six-two split between forwards and backs alongside fellow flanker Ben Earl and lock Jonny Hill.

Ellis Genge has held off the challenge of Joe Marler to supply loosehead prop cover for Mako Vunipola. For this first time this autumn, Marler was available having recovered from a knee injury but Jones has opted to leave him out of the 23, potentially in a nod to his history with Wales.

Hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie wins back his place as an explosive deputy to Jamie George following his battle with a knee complaint and Anthony Watson supplies back three cover having shaken off an ankle issue. It would be a major upset for England to not finish top of Group A and set-up a tournament final against France at Twickenham on December 6. —PA