England

Eddie Jones capitalising on England's World Cup with series of Japanese commercial deals

The latest in a string of endorsements is evident in Sapporo, the host city for England’s tournament opener against Tonga on Sunday.

Posters display Jones in a blazer and open-neck white shirt, sat at a table on which sits a bottle of Japanese gin named ‘Roku’. Headlining the poster is the phrase ‘Eddie Recommend’. Roku gin is a part of brewing and distilling company Suntory, who are owners of the Sungoliath club that participates in the nation’s professional league.

'Manu lives less than 100 metres from me and can be a nuisance sometimes'

The Tonga full-back struck up a close relationship with Tuilagi after suffering a foot injury that resulted in eight months of treatment but it has healed in time for him to take part in the World Cup in Japan.

It was during his rehabilitation that he tapped into the experience of Tuilagi, who has finally been restored to full fitness following a sickening run of injuries spanning four years.

Owen Farrell works on tackling technique as World Rugby cracks down on dangerous play

Farrell was guilty of reckless no-arms challenges against South Africa and Australia last autumn – escaping punishment for both – to raise concerns over his risky style of halting opponents.

World Rugby are determined to rid the game of contact to the head and in May issued a directive clarifying the process for officiating high tackles and shoulder charges, including the wider use of cards.

While England head coach Eddie Jones is concerned that games risk being “destroyed” by a poor decision from officials, he has also seen the value in refining Farrell’s approach.

Jones happy with eager England

the "serious preparation" for their Rugby World Cup opener.

The 2003 winners are set up at a training base in Miyazaki ahead of this year's tournament, though the 31-man squad have been given the chance to do a variety of other activities before the focus switches back to rugby.

They visited a local school during the week, with some players trying their hand at archery, while Jones has allowed them the opportunity to relax as they settle into their new surroundings.

Manu Tuilagi on why ethnic diversity can help fuel England's World Cup glory bid

Samoan-born Tuilagi is among a number of players with overseas heritage who are looking to repeat the heroics of Martin Johnson’s 2003 Webb Ellis Trophy winners by sweeping all before them in Japan.

Also represented to varying degrees are Fiji, Tonga, Nigeria and the United States, while Lewis Ludlam’s background is a mix of Guyanese, Palestinian and Egyptian. “I definitely think it helps. There’s a lot of different backgrounds in the team,” Tuilagi said.

England's Launchbury, Slade fit to feature

Launchbury sustained a knock in England's final warm-up fixture against Italy, while head coach Eddie Jones was without Slade for all of the preparation games as the centre recovered from a knee injury.

However, the duo will be able to take part in England's World Cup opener against Tonga on September 22, meaning Jones will have 29 of his 31-man squad available for selection.

Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell will still be missing, with both players expected to be out for at least the first two pool-stage matches.

Wilkinson backs England for World Cup glory

The former England fly-half believes the class of 2019 boasts a back line full of rare-breed talents that can strike fear into opponents in Japan. England will launch their World Cup bid against Tonga on September 22, with former Newcastle and Toulon fly-half Wilkinson backing Jones’ men to peak at the right time.

“The momentum is rolling, they are peaking,” Wilkinson said. “I’d definitely like to think they can win it. What’s impressed me most is that every time they get a chance to regroup they always come back stronger.

Australia confident despite Headingley defeat, insists Khawaja

Ben Stokes' inspired display kept the five-Test series alive as hosts England amassed their highest ever fourth-innings run chase in Leeds, where the hosts prevailed by one wicket last week.

Australia, however, will be able to welcome talisman Steve Smith back to the fold for the Old Trafford Test after the star batsman missed the Headingley clash due to a concussion sustained at Lord's.

Smith will play a three-day tour match against Derbyshire, with Khawaja captaining an Australia side which also includes Marcus Harris, Cameron Bancroft and Marnus Labuschagne.

Paine hails 'fantastic' Labuschagne

Paine's team were set 267 to win inside 48 overs on the final day at Lord's after the hosts declared on 258-5 following a century from Ben Stokes (115 not out).

However, they were more concerned with batting out the day when Jofra Archer swiftly removed David Warner and Usman Khawaja to bring Labuschagne to the crease.

Vunipola out to create a legacy

England were humbled on home soil in 2015, finishing third in Pool A, with Wales and eventual runners-up Australia securing progression to the knockout stages.

On Monday, Vunipola was included in Eddie Jones' 31-man squad for the upcoming tournament having starred in Sunday's 33-19 defeat of Six Nations champions Wales.

Despite their disappointment in 2015, Jones' side will be favourites to progress from Pool C, with France, Argentina, United States and Tonga their opponents, and Vunipola does not believe England's failure in the last World Cup will haunt them in Japan.