Saturday 1 October 2016

Barritt and Joseph centre of attention for England as Burgess on the bench for Ireland clash

Published 01/09/2015 | 17:46

England's Jonathan Joseph
England's Jonathan Joseph

England have selected Brad Barritt and Jonathan Joseph as their centre pairing for Saturday's World Cup warm-up game against Ireland at Twickenham.

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It will be the first time Barritt and Joseph have started a match together, although they formed makeshift midfields midway through Tests against New Zealand and Australia, in what is the 13th different 12-13 axis of Stuart Lancaster's reign.

Barritt has recovered from a calf problem to take his place at inside centre for his first appearance since finishing as the bloodied hero of last autumn's victory over Australia.

George Ford lines-up at fly-half in a midfield trio that is likely to be England's preferred choice for the World Cup opener against Fiji on September 18.

Sam Burgess supplies midfield cover from the bench and will win his second cap if he is called upon at Twickenham.

Number eight Ben Morgan will make his second appearance since breaking his leg on club duty with Gloucester in January while Geoff Parling returns to the second row in an effort to improve the line-out that malfunctioned against France in Paris.

England team to play Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday September 5, 2.30pm KO:

M Brown (Harlequins); A Watson (Bath), J Joseph (Bath), B Barritt (Saracens), J May (Gloucester); G Ford (Bath), B Youngs (Leicester); J Marler (Harlequins), T Youngs (Leicester), D Cole (Leicester), C Lawes (Northampton), G Parling (Exeter), T Wood (Northampton), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), B Morgan (Gloucester)

Replacements: J George (Saracens), M Vunipola (Saracens), K Brookes (Northampton), J Launchbury (Wasps), B Vunipola (Saracens), R Wigglesworth (Saracens), O Farrell (Saracens), S Burgess (Bath).

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