Eddie names England side for Wales warm-up clash

 Eddie Jones (Getty)
Eddie Jones (Getty)

London - Ruaridh McConnochie will make his England debut a week later than hoped for after overcoming a hip problem in time to start against Wales in their 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifier in Cardiff on Saturday.

The Bath wing and sevens specialist was picked in the team to face the Grand Slam champions at Twickenham last weekend, but was among a trio of late withdrawals due to injury for England's 33-19 win.

Eddie Jones made three changes for the trip to Cardiff with Maro Itoje and Courtney Lawes also coming into the side.

George Ford is again named as captain with regular skipper Owen Farrell making his first appearance of the World Cup warm-up schedule, but only on the bench.

"Our selection strategy for our second game is similar to the first, so a bit of a mix-and-match approach. We are looking at different combinations and have a particular strategy for this game," said Jones, who has already announced his 31-man squad for the World Cup.

"The game is very much about ourselves preparing for the World Cup and we are respectful that we have got such strong opposition at their home ground. We are looking forward to it. 

"The squad has been progressing well this week and I think there is a realisation among the squad now that the hard work really starts, nothing has been achieved.”

Wales also made three changes with Dan Biggar drafted in for the injured Gareth Anscombe.

Jake Ball and James Davies, who will line-up alongside elder brother Jonathan Davies for the first time at international level, also come into the side that missed out on top spot in the world rankings with defeat at Twickenham.

Wales also lost a key player with Anscombe ruled out of the World Cup after suffering cruciate ligament damage last weekend.

"This weekend is another opportunity for us to take the field, test ourselves and continue our preparation for Japan," said Wales head coach Warren Gatland.

"It is a little over five weeks until we kick off our campaign in Toyota against Georgia and it is important we are fully prepared and rugby-ready by then.

"We were disappointed to get the loss last weekend so it is important we step it up on Saturday and put in a big display in front of a packed Principality Stadium."

Teams:

Wales

15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies , 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 James Davies, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Nicky Smith

Substitutes: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Aaron Shingler, 20 Josh Navidi, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Jarrod Evans, 23 Owen Watkin

England

15 Elliot Daly, 14 Ruaridh McConnochie, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Joe Cokanasiga, 10 George Ford (captain), 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Lewis Ludlam, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Maro Itoje, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Ellis Genge

Substitutes: 16 Jamie George, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 George Kruis, 20 Jack Singleton 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Manu Tuilagi

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