Wales v Eng: Ford returns to starting XV

LONDON, NOV 26 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 11/26/2020 12:13:19 PM IST

Fly-half George Ford returns to the starting XV for England’s Autumn Nations Cup match with Wales in Llanelli on Saturday.

Captain Owen Farrell switches to inside-centre with Henry Slade making up the midfield.
The starting forward pack is unchanged from the 18-7 victory against Ireland. Hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie, flanker Jack Willis and back Anthony Watson are named among the replacements for the Group A match.
England are unbeaten in the Autumn Nations Cup so far, with the win over Ireland following a 40-0 defeat of Georgia. Victory against Wales would ensure England finish top of Group A, meaning they would compete for the title against the winner of Group B on 6 December.
France will emerge victorious in the other group if they beat Italy on Saturday.
“We’re expecting another tough match and at the home of Welsh rugby where the heart and soul of their game is,” said head coach Eddie Jones.
Ford made his comeback from injury off the bench against the Irish and now regains his starting position with Ollie Lawrence’s hip issue ensuring the need for a backline reshuffle.
“We’ve picked the best 23 players for the battle and we’re looking forward to it greatly,” added Jones.
“Twelve months ago, Wales were Grand Slam champions and three points from a World Cup final, so we know what they are capable of.” Cowan-Dickie and Watson both return to the matchday squad after injury, while Willis - who made his debut against Georgia - is recalled after missing out against Ireland.
Ben Earl is also named on the bench, with Jones opting for a split of six forwards and two backs.
The Bristol flanker revealed on Tuesday he had been training as a back in case he is needed to cover that area. “Obviously I’m a flanker first and foremost, but a little bit of versatility doesn’t harm and I am happy to do whatever job is required of me,” Earl said.
“At the end of the day tackling is tackling, running with ball is running with the ball and rucking is rucking.
“If anything you get a bit more open space in the backs, so it is something to get excited about.”

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