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Rugby World Cup 2019: England name team for opening match v Tonga

Owen Farrell and George Ford

England captain Owen Farrell (left) will start in the centre against Tonga with George Ford at fly-half
2019 Rugby World Cup: England v Tonga
Venue: Sapporo Dome, Sapporo Date: Sunday, 22 September Kick-off: 11:15 BST
Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, live text commentary on BBC Sport website and app and live on ITV

George Ford will start at fly-half and Owen Farrell at inside centre as England begin their Rugby World Cup campaign against Tonga.

Coach Eddie Jones has also picked the youthful combination of Tom Curry at blind-side and Sam Underhill at open-side for Sunday’s game in Sapporo.

Farrell will captain the side as scrum-half Ben Youngs wins his 90th cap.

“We know Tonga are going to be ferocious and full of pride and passion,” Jones said.

“They are a side that if they get a bit of momentum can be very dangerous, and we will need to be on our best on Sunday.”

Manu Tuilagi starts at outside centre, Anthony Watson is on the right wing with Jonny May on the left and Elliot Daly at full-back.

With Mako Vunipola still recovering from a hamstring injury, Joe Marler comes in at loose-head prop as part of a front row also featuring Jamie George and Kyle Sinckler.

England team v Tonga: Daly; Watson, Tuilagi, Farrell (c), May; Ford, Youngs; Marler, George, Sinckler, Lawes, Itoje, Curry, Underhill, B Vunipola

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Genge, Cole, Kruis, Ludlam, Heinz, Slade, Joseph

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