Saints duo on England bench for battle with Ireland

Courtney Lawes will be among the replacements after starting in the back row against Wales last weekend
Courtney Lawes will be among the replacements after starting in the back row against Wales last weekend

Courtney Lawes and Piers Francis will be on the England bench for Saturday's World Cup warm-up match against Ireland at Twickenham (kick-off 3pm).

But Lewis Ludlam will play no part in the match as he is given a rest after starting both recent games against Wales.

Piers Francis is a replacement against Ireland

Piers Francis is a replacement against Ireland

England have made several changes to the side that lost 13-6 in Cardiff last Saturay, with skipper Owen Farrell, Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs starting their first match in the Quilter International series.

Jonny May will make his first appearance this season on the left wing with Joe Cokanasiga switching to the right wing.

Jamie George, Joe Marler and Kyle Sinckler are named in the front row.

Tom Curry and Sam Underhill return from injury to play in the back row alongside Billy Vunipola, while George Kruis starts in the second row alongside Maro Itoje.

Mako Vunipola has been named as a finisher following his recovery from long-term injury.

England boss Eddie Jones said: “The players have come back in a very good physical and mental state and we have had a good preparation this week.

"We purposefully made the week short looking ahead to the World Cup where this might happen beyond our control.

“It is the third of four games for us and come September 8, when we get on the plane, we want to be ready to go. This is another step forward for us.

“This weekend we will be looking to gain more game fitness and testing different sorts of game strategies.

"We have a specific way of how we want to play and the focus is very much on ourselves.”

On England’s last game at Twickenham before heading to Japan, Jones added: “We have been so appreciative of the support we have had at Twickenham this year and this is our last match there before the tournament, so we look forward to playing well in front of our fans.”

England starting 15 v Ireland

15 Elliot Daly (Saracens, 32 caps)

14 Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 6 caps)

13 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 34 caps)

12 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 71 caps) C

11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 45 caps)

10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 57 caps)

9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 87 caps)

1 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 60 caps)

2 Jamie George (Saracens, 38 caps)

3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 23 caps)

4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 28 caps)

5 George Kruis (Saracens, 34 caps)

6 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 11 caps)

7 Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)

8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 43 caps)


16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 13 caps)

17 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 53 caps)

18 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 87 caps)

19 Courtney Lawes (Saints, 73 caps)

20 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons/Sale Sharks, 13 caps)

21 Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 2 caps)

22 Piers Francis (Saints, 6 caps)

23 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 42 caps)

Ireland: Kearney; Larmour, Ringrose, Aki, Stockdale; Byrne, Murray; Healy, Best (c), Furlong; Henderson, Kleyn; O'Mahoney, van der Flier, Stander.

Replacements: Cronin, J McGrath, Porter, Toner, Beirne, L McGrath, Carty, Conway.