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- Mick Cleary on team announcement: England get down to business as big guns primed
Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell will both make their first appearance at the World Cup after the pair were named in the 23-man squad to play against Argentina in the crunch Pool C match on Saturday having recovered from long-term injuries.
Jones has resisted the temptation to fast-track Vunipola into the starting XV, given that the Saracens prop has played just 17 minutes for England in their World Cup warm-up match against Ireland since Saracens’ Champions Cup final victory over Leinster because of a recurring hamstring injury.
Nowell’s last game time was for Exeter in the Premiership final defeat by Saracens at the start of June; he spent the summer rehabilitating from an ankle injury that required surgery before he was also struck down by appendicitis.
Both can be expected to be given significant game time to prove their match fitness to be in contention for a place in the starting XV to face France in what is expected to be the pool decider
Jones, who now has had a full deck to pick from, has made a total of nine changes from the side that defeated the USA 45-7 but just one from the side that opening the campaign with a victory over Tonga, with George Kruis replacing Courtney Lawes in the second row.
Lawes drops to the bench which also includes Lewis Ludlam.
As expected, Jones has named George Ford at fly-half, with Owen Farrell at inside centre and Manu Tuilagi at 13. Elliot Daly, Jonny May and Anthony Watson make up the back three.
Ben Youngs will win his 92nd cap for his country, becoming the third most capped England men’s player behind Dylan Hartley (97) and Jason Leonard (114). Dan Cole will equal Youngs if he features in the game off the bench.
Joe Marler, Jamie George and Kyle Sinckler are named in the front row with Maro Itoje and George Kruis as the lock pairing. Tom Curry, Sam Underhill and Billy Vunipola will start in the back row.
Jones said: “We are in Tokyo for the first time and the players are excited to be here and have had a good week’s preparation so far. We know Argentina are a very good team and our players will be ready for the game.
“Argentina is a completely different team from others we have played so far in the pool stages and are always about the physical contest. This week it’s about getting our game right, our set piece in a good place and making sure defensively we are organised and ready to find ways to score points against them.”
Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell to feature
Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell will both make their first appearance at the World Cup after the pair were named in the 23-man squad to play against Argentina in the crunch Pool C match on Saturday having recovered
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