George Ford and Owen Farrell were nominated in England's starting eleven for their Rugby World Cup start against Tonga. Eddie Jones made his first choice in Sapporo on Sunday.
As the Guardian announced on Wednesday, Jones has decided to pick his strongest available team, although he hinted last week that it would not. Manu Tuilagi was called into the middle of the field as England started with the same midfield trio that started the warm-up record over Ireland last month.
A total of 13 were selected by this team, with Anthony Watson replacing Joe Cokanasiga, who had suffered a knee injury, and Courtney Lawes in the second row was surprisingly selected before George Kruis. Joe Marler was also selected, although he had missed most of the training in England on Wednesday.
It's only the second time since June last year that Jones has decided to bring Ford and Farrell together, but both have shone against Ireland. Jones will also realize that the selection of two playmakers will allow England to play a more passable game given Tonga's anticipated physical onslaught.
"The focus this week was on finding the right thing for Tonga," Jones said. "We had a good seven days in Japan, where we got acclimated very well, our sleeping patterns are good and the physical condition of the players is excellent. We also improved the togetherness and cohesion of our team. "
Ford and Farrell is also a proven 10 to 12 partnership for Jones, who shared the two, with the exception of one match of the 18-match run to kick off his term. After that, he largely continued, but after England defeated the first two games of the South Africa tour last summer – and extended the deficit to five test games – Jones turned to Danny Cipriani for only one game before turning to Farrell as his number 1 used among the flyers.
Elsewhere, Elliot Daly is on the sidelines with Anthony Watson and Jonny May, while Ben Young's is half-selected. Jamie George and Kyle Sinckler join Marler in the front row, while Itoje Lawes is partner in the second row.
In the back row, Tom Curry and Sam Underhill – who are referred to by Jones as "Kamikaze Kids" – play their second game, which has made an impressive connection against Ireland. Billy Vunipola is in 8th place against the land of his legacy, while Lewis Ludlam sits on the bench. Neither Mark Wilson nor Cokanasiga, who both had knee problems, are in the 23-man squad.
Replacement players include Ludlam as well as Kruis and the first trio of Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge and Dan Cole. Willi Heinz is the replacement for scrum-half while Henry Slade and Jonathan Joseph are also in the squad. The Exeter Center has been scheduled for its first mission since June 2, after recovering from a knee injury.
"Now it's time to set up a fixture against Tonga, and it's important to be tactically correct," Jones added. "We know that they will be wild and full of pride and passion. They are a team when they get some momentum. They can be very dangerous and are well trained by Toutai Kefu. They have a great World Cup record and we have to do our best on Sunday. "
England: E. Daly, A. Watson, M. Tuilagi, O Farrell (Captain), J. May .; G Ford, B Youngs; J. Marler, J. George, K. Sinckler, C. Lawes, M. Itoje, T. Curry, S. Underhill, B. Vunipola. Reserves: L Cowan-Dickie, E. Genge, D. Cole, G. Kruis, L. Ludlam, W. Heinz, H. Slade, J. Joseph
(tagsToTranslate) Rugby World Cup (t) England Rugby Union Team (t) Rugby World Cup 2019 (t) Rugby Union (t) Sport