Owen Farrell Rugby World Cup: Anthony Watson says England will not fear injuries in final warm-up

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Owen Farrell George Ford and Anthony Watson

Anthony Watson (right) did not play for England for over a year after an Achilles injury
Rugby World Cup warm-up: England v Italy
Venue:St James’ Park, NewcastleDate:Friday 6 SeptemberKick-off:19:45 BST
Coverage:Live on BBC Radio 5 Live with highlights on BBC Two at 23:05 BST

England back Anthony Watson says England will not fear injuries in their final World Cup warm-up against Italy.

Number eight Billy Vunipola starts for the fourth successive match and captain Owen Farrell will play from the outset.

The match at St James’ Park in Newcastle on Friday is England’s last before they travel to Japan on Sunday.

“You can’t worry about it and I’m not worried,” said Watson, who makes his first start at full-back for England since an Achilles injury in March 2018.

“As soon as you start going into contact at 85% and start worrying about making sure you get on the plane on Sunday, you won’t play as well as you can and you’d probably get injured anyway.”

England open their World Cup campaign against Tonga on 22 September.

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Wing Jack Nowell will still fly to Japan despite struggling with appendicitis and an ankle injury, while centres Henry Slade and Jonathan Joseph are still recovering from knee and leg muscle issues respectively.

One player who will not be risked on Friday is centre Manu Tuilagi, with J

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