Farrell and Ford to start for England against Samoa

George Ford will start at fly-half for England
George Ford will start at fly-half for England
©Photo Michael Steele - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

England head coach Steve Borthwick has named skipper Owen Farrell and George Ford in the starting line up for the upcoming Rugby World Cup game against Samoa to be played at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Saturday.

This will be the first time since March 2021 both Ford and Farrell will be part of the starting XV with the move being an integral part of their 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign that saw them reach the final.

Ford will start at fly-half with Farrell moving to inside centre pushing Ollie Lawrence to the bench. The England skipper is also the only player to retain his place in the starting XV as Borthwick has made 14 changes from the side that defeated Chile 71-0.

Marcus Smith, who started at fullback against Chile is on the bench with Freddie Steward taking his place while Joe Marchant and Jonny May are slotted at wings. Tuilagi will start at outside centre while Alex Mitchell will form the half-back partnership with Ford.

Tom Curry returns from a suspension and will be part of the front row that also has Ben Earl and Courtney Lawes. Maro Itoje and Ollie Chessum are the preferred locks while Dan Cole and Ellis Genge are on either side of Jamie George in the front row.

"While we are of course pleased with our results and qualification into the pool stages, we want to continue our improvement with a positive performance against a difficult and in-form Samoa team," said head coach Borthwick.

"Samoa are renowned for their physicality and this last game in the pool stages will be an excellent test for us as we continue in our Rugby World Cup journey."

England have already reached the quarter-final of the World Cup after winning all their three matches until now.

England: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Joe Marchant, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Ben Earl, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Ollie Chessum, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Jamie George, 1 Ellis Genge

Reserves: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 George Martin, 20 Billy Vunipola, 21 Danny Care, 22 Marcus Smith, 23 Ollie Lawrence