Jack Willis to make England debut against Georgia

Jack Willis is named at openside
Jack Willis is named at openside
©PA

England coach Eddie Jones has handed flanker Jack Willis his international debut in the Autumn Nations Cup opener against Georgia to be played at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday.

Willis has been slotted at openside and Maro Itoje will play at blindside flanker with Billy Vunipola at number eight.

The front-row sees Ellis Genge play at loosehead and Will Stuart makes his first start for England at tighthead and Jamie George being the preferred hooker. Joe Launchbury and Charlie Ewels form second-row partnership.

Skipper Owen Farrell will continue to be at fly-half as George Ford is recovering from his injury and will form halfback partnership with Ben Youngs. Jonathan Joseph moves to the wing along with Jonny May while Elliot Daly returns from injury to fullback with Henry Slade and Ollie Lawrence at mid-field.

Max Malins is set to make his England debut after he was named on the bench along with Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler, Ben Earl, Tom Curry, Dan Robson, Tom Dunn and Joe Marchant.

"We’ve had a really good week of training. We know there are a lot of expectations on us and we’ve applied ourselves hard and put a lot of pressure on ourselves in the early part of this week," said Jones.

“Georgia will be a tough opponent, so we have a team with some real power in midfield. We have a good mix of youth and experience across the squad and they are completely focused on putting in an excellent performance on Saturday.

“We’re looking forward to being back at our home at Twickenham, we are humbled by the opportunity and want to give people a reason to smile during such a tough time for the country.”

England starting XV: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonathan Joseph, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Henry Slade, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jack Willis, 6 Maro Itoje, 5 Joe Launchbury, 4 Charlie Ewels, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Jamie George, 1 Ellis Genge

Reserves: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Ben Earl, 20 Tom Curry, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Max Malins, 23 Joe Marchant

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