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England v Ireland: Returning fly-half George Ford on the bench

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George Ford passes the ball
George Ford returns for England after an Achilles injury
Date: Saturday 21 November Kick-off: 15:00 GMT Venue: Twickenham
Coverage: Live radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and Radio Ulster and online with live text commentary

England fly-half George Ford will start on the bench as he returns from injury in the side’s second Autumn Nations Cup match against Ireland, with captain Owen Farrell keeping the 10 shirt.

Head coach Eddie Jones has previously preferred Ford at 10 with Farrell at 12 when the pair are both fit.

In the back row, Jones returns to the World Cup pairing of flankers Tom Curry and Sam Underhill.

Props Mako Vunipola and Kyle Sinckler are also back in the starting XV.

England’s backline is unchanged from the 40-0 victory against Georgia last weekend, meaning centre Ollie Lawrence makes his second international start.

Maro Itoje, who started at flanker alongside debutant Jack Willis in England’s Autumn Nations Cup opener, returns to the second row.

Exeter lock Jonny Hill is back on the bench after starting in the win against Italy which helped England become Six Nations champions.

Ford, who started at 10 for England in their first four Six Nations matches at the beginning of the year, missed the Italy and Georgia games to undergo treatment on a long-standing Achilles injury.

England are currently top of their Autumn Nations Cup pool but face their most challenging Test since the return of international rugby against Ireland, who are second in the group.

The visitors have made four changes for their trip to Twickenham as fly-half Ross Byrne replaces injured captain Johnny Sexton.

Centre Bundee Aki comes in for the injured Robbie Henshaw, wing Keith Earls replaces Munster team-mate Andrew Conway and flanker CJ Stander takes over from Josh van der Flier.


England: Daly; Joseph, Lawrence, Slade, May; Farrell (capt), Youngs; M Vunipola, George, Sinckler; Itoje, Launchbury; Curry, Underhill, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Dunn, Genge, Stuart, Hill, Earl, Robson, Ford, Malins.

Ireland: Keenan; Earls, Farrell, Aki, Lowe; R Byrne, Gibson-Park; Healy, Kelleher, Porter; Roux, Ryan (capt); Stander, O’Mahony, Doris.

Replacements: Herring, E Byrne, Bealham, Henderson, Connors, Murray, B Burns, Stockdale.

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