McConnochie handed 3rd chance to make England debut

LONDON — Ruaridh McConnochie will look to make his England debut at the third time of asking after the winger was selected for the team's final Rugby World Cup warmup game against Italy on Friday.

The sevens specialist was picked for both of the warmups against Wales last month but was withdrawn before each match because of hip and hamstring injuries, respectively.

In what England described as a "mix and match strategy," coach Eddie Jones has handed starts to a number of key players like No. 8 Billy Vunipola and captain Owen Farrell but also selected some fringe players like centers Piers Francis and Joe Marchant. Marchant isn't even in England's World Cup squad, but wins his third cap.

With centers Henry Slade (knee) and Jonathan Joseph (leg) receiving treatment for knocks and Jones not wanting to expose Manu Tuilagi to the risk of injury, Jones has gone with an inexperienced midfield combination.

Slade's absence means he will enter the World Cup having not played a single minute of rugby since the start of June.

It is the same with winger Jack Nowell, whose ongoing ankle problem has been compounded by an emergency operation last week to have his appendix removed.

England has enjoyed a promising warmup series, encouraging wins against Wales and Ireland at Twickenham only slightly offset by a narrow loss in Cardiff.

The visit of Italy completes the four fixtures and is being played at St. James' Park, the home ground of Premier League soccer club Newcastle.

Italy made 11 changes from its recent loss to France.

England will set off for a pre-World Cup training camp in Miyazaki, Japan, on Sunday.

___

England: Anthony Watson, Ruaridh McConnochie, Joe Marchant, Piers Francis, Jonny May, Owen Farrell (captain), Ben Youngs; Joe Marler, Jamie George, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Mark Wilson, Billy Vunipola. Reserves: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge, Kyle Sinckler, Charlie Ewels, Matt Kvesic, Willi Heinz, George Ford, Joe Cokanasiga.

Italy: Jayden Hayward, Mattia Bellini, Giulio Bisegni, Tommaso Benvenuti, Edoardo Padovani, Carlo Canna, Callum Braley; Jimmy Tuivaiti, Abraham Steyn, Sebastian Negri, Dean Budd (captain), David Sisi, Simone Ferrari, Oliviero Fabiani, Nicola Quaglio. Reserves: Federico Zani, Andrea Lovotti, Marco Riccioni, Federico Ruzza, Alessandro Zanni, Maxime Mbanda, Guglielmo Palazzani, Tommaso Allan.

You may also interested in

Sevastova beats Osaka 6-4, 6-4 in China Open...

Oct 6, 2018

Anastasija Sevastova beat U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka 6-4, 6-4 Saturday to reach the China Open...

Fiji wins record 5th straight Hong Kong Sevens

Apr 7, 2019

Fiji won a record fifth Hong Kong Sevens rugby trophy at Hong Kong stadium on Sunday, beating...

Japan panel finds nothing illegal in Tokyo...

Sep 1, 2016

An independent panel commissioned by the Japanese Olympic Committee has found nothing illegal in a...

Davis Cup: France completes 4-1 victory over Japan

Feb 5, 2017

France completed a 4-1 win over Japan in their Davis Cup World Group first-round tie on Sunday

Bolt predicts his world records could stand for...

Sep 5, 2017

Usain Bolt says he has no regrets about retiring and is confident his world records will stand for...

About Us

Frontal Report is an emerging leader in all forms of media. We aim to be the leading news brand for readers around the world.

Contact us: sales[at]frontalreport.com

Subscribe Now!