McConnochie set for England debut against Italy

Ruaridh McConnochie is named at wing
Ruaridh McConnochie is named at wing
©Steve Haag

England coach Eddie Jones has unveiled the matchday squad for the final World Cup warm-up game against Italy to be played in Newcastle on Friday.

Ruaridh McConnochie, who pulled out in both the games against Wales has been given another chance to make his debut after being named at right wing. The England boss has also opted skipper Owen Farrell at fly-half with George Ford dropping to the bench.

Farrell's place at inside centre has been taken by Piers Francis and is accompanied by Joe Marchant, who along with Charlie Ewels and Matt Kvesic feature in the matchday 23 despite not being part of the World Cup squad.

“We are delighted to be playing against Italy, one of our traditional Six Nations rivals and the game for us is another important step to develop our game fitness and game strategy," said Jones.

"We have gone with a mix and match selection policy to develop our adaptability and the team’s ability to cope with any situation.

“We have had a solid training week in Treviso with hot conditions so we are looking forward to testing ourselves against Italy on Friday night. Then we hop on the plane and are ready to go to Japan.”

Anthony Watson is named at fullback while McConnochie replaces Joe Cokanasiga at right wing with Jonny May retained at left.

The other changes see Dan Cole replacing Kyle Sinckler at tighthead prop while Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes form second row partnership. Tom Curry retains his place at blindside flanker with Mark Wilson coming at openside.

England starting line-up: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Ruaridh McConnochie, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Ben Youngs, 1 Joe Marler, 2 Jamie George, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Joe Launchbury, 5 Courtney Lawes, 6 Tom Curry, 7 Mark Wilson, 8 Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 George Ford, 23 Joe Cokanasiga.

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