Sport Rugby

Saturday 21 July 2018

England unleash some big guns for return game against France

England centre's Luther Burrell (left) and Jonathan Joseph (right).
England centre's Luther Burrell (left) and Jonathan Joseph (right).

Duncan Bech

England have selected Luther Burrell and Jonathan Joseph as their centres for Saturday's World Cup warm-up match against France in Paris.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster has made 14 changes to the team that dispatched Les Blues 19-14 at Twickenham last weekend - only wing Jonny May survives - in a line-up that is close to his first choice starting XV.

There is no place among the 23 for Sam Burgess or Henry Slade even though they made fine Test debuts against France - a decision that will intensify speculation over their potential involvement at the World Cup.

Instead, Lancaster has opted for Danny Cipriani and Billy Twelvetrees on the bench for the last outing before the final 31-man squad for the global showpiece on home soil is announced by the August 31 deadline.

Cipriani and Twelvetrees made substitute appearances at Twickenham but had little opportunity to shine in their quest to win selection at fly-half/full-back and centre respectively.

"Having reviewed last Saturday there were a lot of things we were pleased with considering it was the first game," Lancaster said.

"There is now an opportunity for those not involved or who didn't get much opportunity from the bench to put a marker down and build on that performance."

England team to face France in World Cup warm-up match at Stade de France on Saturday, August 22 (8pm):

M Brown (Harlequins); J Nowell (Exeter), J Joseph (Bath), L Burrell (Northampton), J May (Gloucester); G Ford (Bath), B Youngs (Leicester); J Marler (Harlequins), T Youngs (Leicester), D Cole (Leicester), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton), J Haskell (Wasps), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), B Vunipola (Saracens).

Replacements: J George (Saracens), M Vunipola (Saracens), D Wilson (Bath), D Attwood (Bath Rugby), N Easter (Harlequins), D Care (Harlequins), D Cipriani (Sale), B Twelvetrees (Gloucester).

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