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George Ford and Owen Farrell will be reunited in the starting line-up for England’s third Rugby World Cup warm-up clash with Ireland this Saturday after being selected at fly-half and inside centre together for the first time in 14 months, in what is a heavily changed side selection by Eddie Jones.
The pair have not started together since the second Test defeat against South Africa last summer, where England slipped to a 23-12 defeat that prompted the recall for Danny Cipriani to partner Farrell in the triumphant third Test.
Having been left out of the starting line-up for the opening two Tests against Wales, Farrell returns to the side albeit in the No 12 shirt, where he will partner Manu Tuilagi in the centre from the start for the first time in their careers.
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Joe Marler wins his first start since returning from international retirement, having featured off the bench in last weekend’s defeat in Wales, while Mako Vunipola returns from hamstring surgery to feature among the replacements.
There are first starts of the summer for hooker Jamie George, prop Kyle Sinckler and scrum-half Ben Youngs along with Farrell and Tuilagi, while the back-row sees flankers Tom Curry and Sam Underhill return from injury to feature. The pair were due to start the opening match against Wales only
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