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Eddie Jones has decided to drop George Ford from his starting line-up for England’s showdown Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Australia in order to try and defensively suffocate the Wallabies.
Despite starring in all three of England’s matches so far in Japan, Ford has been dropped to the bench in order to allow Owen Farrell to move to fly-half and Henry Slade come into the centre with Manu Tuilagi, beefing up a midfield combination that will have to try and stop the power threat of Wallabies centre Samu Kerevi.
Ford has not missed a tackle this World Cup, but his defence has long been seen as the weakest part of his game, and Jones appears to be taking no risks in terms of trying to shackle Kerevi this weekend.
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“We have a starting and a finishing team so [Ford’s] going to finish for us instead of start,” Jones said on Thursday, having made three personnel changes to the side that beat Argentina with Mako Vunipola and Courtney Lawes also returning.
“I spoke to him this morning and obviously he’s disappointed but he knows his role in the team. He’s got an important role in the team and that’s how we’ve spoken all along, we’ve got a squad of 23, we look at it as a squad of 23, everyone has a role to do.
“We’ve left a lot of good players out of the squad of 31 and they’re disappointed, but [Ford’s] got a
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