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Jones shuffles his pack for Ireland encounter

Jones shuffles his pack for Ireland encounter

Jones shuffles his pack for Ireland encounter

Eddie Jones has made four changes to his pack for England’s “most important game of the season” against Ireland in the Autumn Nations Cup this weekend.

Mako Vunipola and Kyle Sinckler come in to the front row for Ellis Genge and Will Stuart, while Tom Curry and Sam Underhill are the flankers as Maro Itoje moves back to lock, meaning Charlie Ewels and Jack Willis drop out.

The rest of the team, including the entire back line, is unchanged from the 40-0 victory over Georgia that kick-started their Autumn Nations Cup campaign a week ago.

That means Ben Youngs and Owen Farrell continue as the half-backs, Ollie Lawrence makes his second England start in the centres – outside Henry Slade – while Jonathan Joseph, Jonny May and Elliot Daly comprise the back three.

Hat-trick hero Jamie George stays at hooker, Itoje moves forward to join Joe Launchbury in the second row and Billy Vunipola slots in between the two new flankers at No.8.

George Ford returns from injury and is named among the replacements along with last weekend’s debutant Max Malins and try-scorer Dan Robson.

Jones has talked up the importance of the clash against Ireland – who beat Wales 32-9 in their Autumn Nations Cup opener – and the winner at Twickenham will be in pole position to top Group A.

Jones said: “I’ve picked the strongest team possible for the most important game of our season.

“We have the highest respect for Ireland and their coach Andy Farrell.  They’ve had good preparation with two wins and a dominant display against Wales, and we will need to be at our best on Saturday.

“We’ve trained well this week, we’re expecting a tough, physical game against Ireland and we’ve reflected that in our sessions.

“We’ll look to lift our performance even higher and are looking forward to a really good game of rugby.”

England team to face Ireland at Twickenham in Round 2 of the Autumn Nations Cup
15. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 44 caps)
14. Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 52 caps)
13. Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors, 2 caps)
12. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 31 caps)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 58 caps)
10. Owen Farrell (c) (Saracens, 85 caps)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 101 caps)
1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 61 caps)
2. Jamie George (Saracens, 51 caps)
3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 37 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 40 caps)
5. Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 66 caps)
6. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 25 caps)
7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 19 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 53 caps)

Replacements:
16. Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, 2 caps)
17. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 20 caps)
18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 5 caps)
19. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 1 cap)
20. Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 5 caps)
21. Dan Robson (Wasps, 4 caps)
22. George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 69 caps)
23. Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 1 cap)

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