England make 11 changes to their team to face Ireland

England boss Eddie Jones has named his squad to play Ireland on Saturday at Twickenham, making 11 changes to starting XV that faced Wales last weekend.

Only Elliot Daly, George Ford, Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola survive from the 13-6 loss in Cardiff in a revamped selection that will see Ford and Owen Farrell pair up from the start for the first time in 14 months.

Ford continues at fly-half with captain Farrell starting at inside centre and lining up alongside Manu Tuilagi in midfield. Former age-group international pairing Ford and Farrell last started a Test at 10 and 12 when England lost 23-12 to South Africa in Bloemfontein in 2018.

The Ireland match also represents the first start of this August’s warm-up series for captain Farrell, Tuilagi, and Ben Youngs. Jonny May will make his first appearance this season on the left wing with Joe Cokanasiga switching to the right wing.

Harlequins prop Joe Marler will make his first Test start since coming out of retirement, joining Jamie George and Kyle Sinckler in the front row. 

Tom Curry and Sam Underhill return from injury to play in the back row alongside No8 Vunipola while George Kruis starts in the second row alongside Itoje. Mako Vunipola has been named as a finisher following his recovery from long-term injury.

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 (v Ireland, Saturday)
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)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 87 caps)
Joe Marler (Harlequins, 60 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 38 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 23 caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 28 caps)
George Kruis (Saracens, 34 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 11 caps)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)
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 (Northampton Saints, 73 caps)
20 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons/Sale Sharks, 13 caps)
21 Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 2 caps)
22 Piers Francis (Northampton Saints, 6 caps)
23 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 42 caps)