Ford and Farrell in midfield as England change five

Nov 20 • General News, International, World Rugby • 1877 Views • Comments Off on Ford and Farrell in midfield as England change five

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Ford and Farrell renew age-grade partnership at 10 and 12
Haskell, Morgan and Webber start in new-look pack

George Ford will make his first Test start for England in Saturday’s QBE International against Samoa at Twickenham (kick-off 7pm, live on Sky Sports HD 2).

The 21 year-old Bath Rugby fly half takes over from former age-group teammate Owen Farrell, with the Saracen shifting to inside centre.

Given Brad Barritt retains the number 13 jersey, the move sees Stuart Lancaster re-instate the midfield partnership that started his maiden game in charge back in February 2012 against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Elsewhere, Ford is partnered by his ex-Leicester Tigers colleague Ben Youngs at half back, while James Haskell of Wasps and Gloucester No.8 Ben Morgan replace Tom Wood (Northampton Saints) and Billy Vunipola (Saracens) in the back row.

Finally, Bath Rugby’s Rob Webber comes in at hooker for Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), with Billy Twelvetrees of Gloucester Rugby and Saracens scrum half Richard Wigglesworth joining the replacements for the first time this autumn.

After choosing his match-day 23 to halt a run of five consecutive defeats, England Head Coach Lancaster said: “Those selected have a great opportunity to show what they can do against what will be a highly motivated Samoa team.

“It’s great to give George a start in this series, having missed the summer tour through injury. He has been impressive in camp and now fully up to speed with the game plan and he is ready to run the game.

“Owen switches to 12 and I am sure will support George well. In the back row both James and Ben have been in great form and I am sure they will bring their physical presence to the game.

“Hooker is another competitive position and we believe Rob is ready for the start and will continue the progress he made on the New Zealand tour.”

England team to face Samoa

15. Mike Brown (Harlequins, 31 caps)
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 2 caps)
13. Brad Barritt (Saracens, 20 caps)
12. Owen Farrell (Saracens, 27 caps)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 9 caps)
10. George Ford (Bath Rugby, 4 caps)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 40 caps)

1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 24 caps)
2. Rob Webber (Bath Rugby, 10 caps)
3. David Wilson (Bath Rugby, 39 caps)
4. Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby, 14 caps)
5. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 34 caps)
6. James Haskell (Wasps, 51 caps)
7. Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 30 caps, captain)
8. Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby, 25 caps)

Replacements

16. Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 59 caps)
17. Matt Mullan (Wasps, 7 caps)
18. Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons, 4 caps)
19. George Kruis (Saracens, 2 caps)
20. Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 32 caps
21. Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens, 14 caps
22. Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby, 14 caps)
23. Marland Yarde (Harlequins, 5 caps)

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