Eddie Jones hands George Ford dramatic recall for Rugby World Cup semi-final against New Zealand – The Telegraph,

Eddie Jones hands George Ford dramatic recall for Rugby World Cup semi-final against New Zealand – The Telegraph,

George Ford
George Ford returns to England’s starting sideCredit:AFP

  • George Ford recalled at fly-half
  • Owen Farrell moves to inside center; Henry Slade on bench
  • Jonny May named to start after hamstring scare
  • Mark Wilson replaces Lewis Ludlam on the bench
  • (Billy Vunipola to win) th cap in Yokohama

George Ford has been handed a dramatic recall to the England side to face New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final.

Ford returns at fly-half with captain Owen Farrell switching to inside center in the only change to the starting XV for what is the biggest game of Eddie Jones’s four-year tenure.

Henry Slade, who had been recalled at outside center for the quarter-final win over Australia in Oita last Saturday, drops to the bench, where the only other change sees Mark Wilson replaces Lewis Ludlam.

Jonny May meanwhile has been cleared to start having recovered from a hamstring injury, while Billy Vunipola will win his 50thcap in an unchanged back row along with Sam Underhill and Tom Curry.

But it is Ford’s return that is the stand-out selection. The Leicester fly-half has been one of England’s leading performers during their World Cup campaign, having been named man-of-the-match in the pool victory over USA.

Henry Slade moves back to the replacements benchCredit:Getty Images AsiaPac

But he was dropped to the bench for the Australia match as Jones opted for a more physical midfield of Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade to combat the physical presence of Samu Kerevi.

The return of the Ford-Farrell axis, which was so successful in the first two years under Jones suggests change in tactics for the semi-final, with a greater emphasis expected to be placed on a kicking game to give England territorial control.

History in on Jones’s side, given that the British and Irish Lions salvaged their series against the All Blacks when head coach Warren Gatland opted to start two fly-halves in Jonathan Sexton and Farrell together for the second Test victory in Wellington.

Jones said: “Preparation has been good this week after a solid win against Australia. When you get to this stage of the World Cup it is all about focusing on being in the moment and getting yourself physically right.

Mark Wilson returns to England’s benchCredit:Getty Images AsiaPac

“The squad has approached the game well with real maturity. It has helped having players here who have been on the Lions tour and played against New Zealand. They have been involved in some of the biggest games in world rugby so this semi-final won’t phase them.

“New Zealand is a great team, they have an impressive winning record since the last Rugby World Cup . Like any good team, you have to take away time and space from them and you have to find areas you can pressure them. We believe we have identified a number of areas where we can do that. ”

Jones described Vunipola’s 50 th cap as: “a great achievement for Billy and something that is very special for the team. I know his family will be very proud of him and even more so to play the game alongside his brother Mako. ”


Cowan-Dickie, Marler, Cole, Kruis, Wilson, Heinz, Slade, Joseph

9: (AM)

Maggie Alphonsi’s take

The Ford-Farrell axis makes sense as NZ don’t offer the same threat as AUS in the centers as their threat is out wide. Surprised Kruis isn’t starting as NZ will target the LO and he is one of the best at reading the play and has a good partnership with Itoje.# ENGvNZL# RWC 2019https: // t .co / nm1T7BcHhH– Maggie Alphonsi MBE (@MaggieAlphonsi) (October) , 2019

9: (AM)

Team named

As reported, George Ford starts with Henry Slade heading to the bench. That is the only change to the starting side. Elsewhere, Mark Wilson comes on to the bench in place of Lewis Ludlam.

The last time Steve Hansen faced England at a World Cup …

Credit:Getty Images Sport

‘Everyone has jumped on it and got the clickbait going ‘

Steve Hansen addressed Eddie Jones’ ‘spying’ claims earlier today.Here is the full story.

Credit:Getty Images AsiaPac

(8:) ********************************************************************************************************************************************************* (AM)

Man in the middle

Nigel Owens will referee Saturday’s semi-final. His assistants are Romain Poite and Pascal Gauzere, while Marius Jonker is the television match official.

(8:) ************************************************************************************************************************************************************ (AM)

Half an hour to go. ..

Henry Slade or George Ford? Courtney Lawes or George Kruis? These would appear to be the big calls …

(8:) ******************************************************************************************************************************************************************* (AM)

‘You try to be like Jonah Lomu … but you don’t succeed ‘

One of Manu Tuilagi’s idols growing up in Samoa was a certain All Blacks icon.He spoke about Jonah Lomu yesterday.

8: 17 AM

How have England accommodated Tom Curry and Sam Underhill?

(8: (AM)

Squeaky clean

Credit:Getty Images Europe

George Ford to return?

Here is Gavin Mairs’ report from last night, which suggests that England’s midfield merry-go-round will get another spin …

8: (AM)


Good morning. We have had 48 England team announcements for Test matches in the Eddie Jones era. None have been more intriguing than this one, which comes ahead of a Rugby World Cup semi-final against New Zealand.

Barbs have been flying across press conferences throughout this week. Nobody is safe, it seems. Even the New Zealand media have copped flak for resembling “fans with a keyboard”.

Jones has spoken about the pressure that the All Blacks must feel as they pursue a third straight tournament title . His counterpart Steve Hansen countered this morning, justifiably bringing up 2015 and how England’s surviving players still bear those scars.

Credit:Getty Images AsiaPac

New Zealand’s selection makes Jones’ response even more interesting. Hansen has opted to move Scott Barrett into the back row, leaving Sam Cane on the bench and shifting Ardie Savea across to the openside.

It is a fascinating ploy designed to put England’s lineout under intense scrutiny.When Scott Barrett arrived from the bench last November at Twickenham, the hosts’ set piece fell apart. They lost their reliable platform and eventually lost 16 – 15, having LED 15 – 0 in the first half.

Before this tournament, Jones hinted that he would not be able to team up Tom Curry and Sam Underhill against the All Blacks because neither of the tearaway flankers are specialist lineout jumpers. Well, Curry has improved a great deal in this area over the past two months.

Might Jones reinstate George Kruis alongside Maro Itoje and lean on a Saracens set piece axis? The other area to watch out for is the midfield. Our rugby union news correspondent Gavin Mairs has reported that Jones will bring back George Ford.

That would mean Henry Slade heading to the bench and Manu Tuilagi and Owen Farrell reprising their center partnership. There are also doubts over the fitness of Jonny May. So, which way will Jones go? We will find out in an hour.

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