World Cup: England unchanged for final showdown
PUBLISHED: 07:20 31 October 2019 | UPDATED: 07:20 31 October 2019
PA Wire/PA Images
England men’s head coach Eddie Jones has named an unchanged starting XV to play South Africa in the Rugby World Cup 2019 Final at Yokohama Stadium on Saturday.
Captain Owen Farrell will lead the side that beat New Zealand in the semi-final last weekend, with the starters having a total of 731 caps between them.
And Farrell's Saracens' clubmate Ben Spencer is in line to play his first game in the competition as a finisher having replaced injured Willi Heinz earlier this week.
Jones said: "It has been a good week, the players have been together a while now so it's less about the volume of training this week, it's more about sharpening the sword.
"South Africa are a difficult opponent and we are going to have to fight really hard to win. We know the physical part of the game is going to be important and the players will go into this game well prepared knowing how we want to play. We will go and play with no fear.
"South Africa will probably play a similar type of game they have played all tournament so we need be good in the arm wrestle and when we have the opportunities to break the game up, we are then confident and composed enough to take them."
England have remained unbeaten during the tournament having won their pool matches against Tonga (35-3), USA Rugby (45-7) and Argentina (39-10) before the France game was cancelled due to typhoon Hagibis.
England beat Australia 40-16 in the quarter-final in Oita before defeating New Zealand 19-7 in Yokohama last weekend to progress to the final.
This is the fourth time England have reached the Rugby World Cup Final and they have beaten South Africa in their last two Test matches.
Jones will be in charge of England for the 50th time this weekend and is only the third England coach to reach this milestone. He has the best win rate (80 per cent) of any head coach of England.
England starting XV
15 Elliot Daly (Saracens, 38 caps)
14 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 41 caps)
13 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 39 caps)
12 Owen Farrell (captain, Saracens, 78 caps)
11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 51 caps)
10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 64 caps)
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9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 94 caps)
1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 57 caps)
2 Jamie George (Saracens, 44 caps)
3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 30 caps)
4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 33 caps)
5 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 80 caps)
6 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 18 caps)
7 Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 14 caps)
8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 50 caps)
16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 20 caps)
17 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 67 caps)
18 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 94 caps)
19 George Kruis (Saracens, 40 caps)
20 Mark Wilson (Sale Sharks/Newcastle Falcons 17 caps)
21 Ben Spencer (Saracens, 3 caps)
22 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 26 caps)
23 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 46 caps)
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