Eddie Jones calls on World Cup back row to face Ireland
LONDON - England coach Eddie Jones has reverted to his highly successful World Cup back row of Tom Curry, Sam Underhill and Billy Vunipola for Saturday's Nations Cup match against Ireland at Twickenham.
The powerful trio are reunited for the toughest game England have faced since the restart after easy wins over Italy and Georgia. Maro Itoje moves from number six to join Joe Launchbury in the second row.
Jonathan Joseph has recovered from a back problem to start on the wing, while flyhalf George Ford is on the bench after overcoming a foot injury.
Ollie Lawrence, who barely got a touch last week, will hope for more involvement on his second start at outside centre, with Henry Slade inside him as part of the same backline that faced Georgia.
The front row is also back to what would generally be considered Jones's first choice of Jamie George, Mako Vunipola and Kyle Sinckler.
England have won their last three games against the Irish, including an impressive 24-12 Six Nations win in February and a 57-15 World Cup warm up thrashing in August 2019.
"We have the highest respect for Ireland and their coach Andy Farrell," Jones said on Thursday. "They’ve had good preparation with two wins and a dominant display against Wales, and we will need to be at our best on Saturday."
England team to face Ireland (15:00 GMT)
15. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 44 caps)
14. Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 52 caps)
13. Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors, 2 caps)
12. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 31 caps)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 58 caps)
10. Owen Farrell (c) (Saracens, 85 caps)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 101 caps)
1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 61 caps)
2. Jamie George (Saracens, 51 caps)
3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 37 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 40 caps)
5. Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 66 caps)
6. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 25 caps)
7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 19 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 53 caps)
16. Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, 2 caps)
17. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 20 caps)
18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 5 caps)
19. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 1 cap)
20. Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 5 caps)
21. Dan Robson (Wasps, 4 caps)
22. George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 69 caps)
23. Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 1 cap)