Saints flanker Ludlam in line to win first England cap this weekend

Lewis Ludlam is set to get some England game time on Sunday
Lewis Ludlam is set to get some England game time on Sunday

Flanker Lewis Ludlam is in line to win his first England cap after being named on the bench for the match against Wales at Twickenham on Sunday (kick-off 2pm).

Ludlam's Saints team-mate Piers Francis is handed a start at inside centre as boss Eddie Jones continues to formulate his plans for the World Cup.

Jones will name his 31-man squad for the tournament that starts in Japan in September on Monday.

And Ludlam and Francis now get a big chance to make a good impression as they take on a Wales team who have Saints fly-half Dan Biggar in their ranks.

Biggar will be among the replacements for this weekend's encounter as Gareth Anscombe is handed the Wales 10 shirt.

Courtney Lawes will not play any part in the game, but he still looks very likely to be in the England World Cup squad.

Jones said: “We have completed our four weeks of pre-season training and now we have moved into four weeks of warm up games ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

“Our focus has now changed to match preparation and fitness and creating a game that will stand up to the rigours of the tournament where we have to win seven games in sevens weeks.

“Our team selection and tactics in our next four games are all about developing a team capable of winning in Japan and our overarching target of being ready when we get on the plane on September 8 to win the World Cup.

“We are looking forward to playing at Twickenham and giving the home crowd something to smile about.”

England starting XV
15 Elliot Daly (Saracens, 30 caps)
14 Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 22 caps)
12 Piers Francis (Saints, 4 caps)
11 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 33 caps)
10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 55 caps) C
9 Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped) VC
1 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 9 caps)
2 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 11 caps)
3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 85 caps)
4 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 58 caps)
5 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 10 caps)
6 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 10 caps)
7 Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 9 caps) VC
8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 41 caps)
16 Jack Singleton (Saracens, uncapped)
17 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 59 caps)
18 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 17 caps)
19 George Kruis (Saracens, 32 caps)
20 Lewis Ludlam (Saints, uncapped)
21 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 85 caps)
22 Joe Marchant (Harlequins, uncapped)
23 Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 4 caps)

Wales: Smith, Owens, Francis; Beard, AW Jones (c); Wainwright, Tipuric, Moriarty; Davies, Anscombe; Adams, Parkes, J Davies, North, L Williams.
Replacements: Dee, W Jones, Lewis, Ball, Shingler, T Williams, Biggar, Watkin.