George Ford to captain England against USA

George Ford has been named England's captain
George Ford has been named England's captain

England coach Eddie Jones has named a much-changed line-up for the second round of the World Cup clash against the United States of America to be played in Kobe on Thursday.

George Ford has retained his fly-half role with the additional responsibility of captaining the side. Owen Farrell will provide cover from the bench with Piers Francis taking his place in the starting XV and will form a centre partnership with Jonathan Joseph.

Overall, Jones has made 10 changes to the line-up that defeated Tonga with Ruaridh McConnochie and Joe Cokanasiga named at wings while Anthony Watson dropping to the bench.

Willi Heinz starts at scrum-half with Ben Youngs providing impact from the bench. Dan Cole will feature in his 91st Test for the red rose team joining the likes of Jonny Wilkinson to become the third most capped player for England with Youngs also in line to join them when he comes off the bench.

Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell continue to remain on the sidelines as they aim to get back to full fitness.

"The four-day turnaround is something we experimented with against Japan last autumn and so the players have had some experience of it," Jones said.

"You have to make sure the two days before the game are exactly the same as you would normally have for any other game. So for us, a short and fast run tomorrow and today is an active recovery day.

"What I see now is players handling it really well but the game on Thursday will be the litmus test.

"It is our best 23 and we have looked at some players that would benefit not playing in this game so have kept them out of the 23. But it is a great opportunity for another set of players to do the team proud."

England starting line-up: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Ruaridh McConnochie, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Joe Cokanasiga, 10 George Ford (captain) , 9 Willi Heinz ; 1 Joe Marler, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Joe Launchbury, 5 George Kruis, 6 Tom Curry, 7 Lewis Ludlam, 8 Billy Vunipola.

Reserves: 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Courtney Lawes , 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Anthony Watson.

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