Ford on England bench for Ireland clash

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George Ford (Getty Images)
George Ford (Getty Images)

George Ford has overcome a heel injury to be named on England's bench for their Autumn Nations Cup international against Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday.

Ford missed the recent wins over Italy and Georgia while he had treatment on the longstanding problem.

But having regained fitness, he will now provide fly-half cover among England's replacements.

Eddie Jones has retained the same backline that played in last week's 40-0 rout of Georgia, the England coach resisting the temptation to move captain Owen Farrell from flyhalf to inside centre so as to have Ford in his starting XV.

Powerful centre Ollie Lawrence will now have another chance to line up alongside Henry Slade in midfield.

In the pack, Jones has recalled the World Cup duo of flankers Tom Curry and Sam Underhill.

Props Mako Vunipola and Kyle Sinckler are also back in the starting XV.

Maro Itoje, who started at flanker alongside debutant Jack Willis against Georgia, returns to the second row.

Exeter lock Jonny Hill is back on the bench after starting in the win against Italy which helped England become Six Nations champions.

England, last year's losing World Cup finalists, are currently top of Pool A in the Autumn Nations Cup.

They have won their last three matches against Ireland.

But the Irish, coached by Andy Farrell - the father of Owen - overwhelmed Wales 32-9 last week.

"I've picked the strongest team possible for the most important game of our season," said Jones in a Rugby Football Union statement.

"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."

Teams:

England

15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonathan Joseph, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Henry Slade, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell (captain), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tom Curry, 5 Joe Launchbury, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola

Substitutes: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Dan Robson, 22 George Ford, 23 Max Malins

Ireland

TBA

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