George Ford will start on the bench for England against Ireland in the Autumn Nations Cup on Saturday.

The fly-half returns to the squad after overcoming an Achilles problem, although captain Owen Farrell will keep the number 10 shirt against Andy Farrell's men.

Tom Curry and Sam Underhill come into the side as flankers, with props Mako Vunipola and Kyle Sinckler also returning to the XV.

The backline is unchanged from the opening 40-0 victory over Georgia, allowing Ollie Lawrence to make his second international start at outside centre.

"I've picked the strongest team possible for the most important game of our season," said head coach Eddie Jones.

"We have the highest respect for the Ireland and their coach Andy Farrell. They've had good preparation with two wins and a dominant display against Wales, and we will need to be at our best on Saturday.

"We've trained well this week, we're expecting a tough, physical game against Ireland and we've reflected that in our sessions. 

"We'll look to lift our performance even higher and are looking forward to a really good game of rugby."

England: Elliot Daly, Jonathan Joseph, Ollie Lawrence, Henry Slade, Jonny May, Owen Farrell (captain), Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Joe Launchbury, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Tom Dunn, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Jonny Hill, Ben Earl, Don Robson, George Ford, Max Malins.

Taniela Tupou and Scott Sio have come into the Wallabies' starting side for Saturday's Tri Nations clash against Argentina.

Sio replaced the injured James Slipper as one of three changes to the starting team for the encounter in Newcastle.

Tupou and Ned Hanigan are also in, replacing Allan Alaalatoa and Lachlan Swinton respectively.

Australia are coming off a win over the All Blacks earlier this month, while Argentina stunned New Zealand last week.

"After being left out in our last Test we got the reaction we expected from Scott, his preparation this week has been excellent and his experience will be invaluable against Argentina," Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie said.

"As a group, we know respect is earned daily and understand the importance of backing up our last performance with another quality effort on Saturday night.

"The tournament is evenly poised and our fate is in our own hands. We saw how much passion Argentina play with in their performance last weekend and we're excited by the challenge in Newcastle."

New Zealand top the table but will be replaced by the winner of the clash between Argentina and Australia, who sit second and third respectively.

The Wallabies have won 17 of their past 19 Tests against Argentina, whose last success came in September 2018.

But the Pumas are eyeing back-to-back wins against fellow Tier 1 opposition for the first time since beating Italy and France in June 2016.

Unsurprisingly after their win over the All Blacks, Argentina's starting team is unchanged, while Santiago Socino, Facundo Isa and Emiliano Boffelli have replaced Facundo Bosch, Tomas Lezana and Lucio Cinti on the bench.

Australia: Tom Banks, Tom Wright, Jordan Petaia, Hunter Paisami, Marika Koroibete, Recce Hodge, Nic White; Scott Sio, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Taniela Tupou, Rob Simmons, Matt Philip, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper, Harry Wilson.
Replacements: Folau Fainga'a, Angus Bell, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Valetini, Liam Wright, Jake Gordon, Noah Lolesio, Filipo Daugunu.

Argentina: Santiago Carreras, Bautista Delguy, Matias Orlando, Santiago Chocobares, Juan Imhoff, Nicolas Sanchez, Tomas Cubelli; Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Julian Montoya, Francisco Gomez Kodela, Guido Petti, Matias Alemanno, Pablo Matera, Marcos Kremer, Rodrigo Bruni.
Replacements: Santiago Socino, Mayco Vivas, Santiago Medrano, Santiago Grondona, Facundo Isa, Gonzalo Bertranou, Emiliano Boffelli, Santiago Cordero.

Ross Byrne will start at fly-half in one of four changes to the Ireland team for Saturday's Autumn Nations Cup showdown with England at Twickenham.

Byrne replaces captain Johnny Sexton, who sustained a hamstring injury in the first match of the tournament against Wales last Friday.

Second row James Ryan takes over as skipper for the first time, while CJ Stander returns at blindside flanker and Peter O'Mahony will don the number seven shirt, with Caelan Doris selected at number eight.

Centre Bundee Aki replaces the injured Robbie Henshaw following the 32-9 win over Wayne Pivac's struggling Wales side, partnering Chris Farrell.

Jamison Gibson-Park retains his starting role at scrum-half, so Conor Murray will be on the bench once again for the clash with the Six Nations champions, who thrashed Georgia 40-0 last weekend.

Hugo Keenan gets the nod at full-back, with James Lowe and Keith Earls keeping their places on the wings.

 

Ireland: Hugo Keenan, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Bundee Aki, James Lowe, Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Cian Healy, Ronan Kelleher, Andrew Porter, Quinn Roux, James Ryan (captain), CJ Stander, Peter O’Mahony, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: Rob Herring, Ed Byrne, Finlay Bealham, Iain Henderson, Will Connors, Conor Murray, Billy Burns, Jacob Stockdale.

Jack Willis has been omitted from England's squad to face Ireland in the Autumn Nations Cup on Saturday despite making an impressive debut.

Premiership player of the year Willis scored a try in the 40-0 thrashing of Georgia last weekend, but the flanker does not feature among the 25 named by Eddie Jones for the upcoming showdown at Twickenham.

Sam Underhill returns for the encounter with Andy Farrell's side, so Willis will have to wait for another opportunity.

The versatile Jonathan Joseph was selected despite limping out of the victory last weekend, while Lewis Ludlam, Jonny Hill and Ollie Thorley have also got the nod.

Fly-half George Ford is included despite an Achilles problem, but Joe Marchant and Joe Marler miss out due to injury and Charlie Ewels was not included.

James Ryan has been named as Ireland captain for the first time in the absence of Johnny Sexton, who suffered a hamstring injury in the win over struggling Wales last week.

 

England squad:

Forwards: Tom Curry, Tom Dunn, Ben Earl, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Joe Launchbury, Lewis Ludlam, Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola.

Backs: Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell (captain), George Ford, Jonathan Joseph, Ollie Lawrence, Max Malins, Jonny May, Dan Robson, Henry Slade, Ollie Thorley, Ben Youngs.

France have been awarded a 28-0 bonus-point win over Fiji in the Autumn Nations Cup after their match was called off due to coronavirus complications.

The two teams had been set to meet in Vannes last Sunday in the new tournament, a replacement for the scrapped autumn internationals due to the global pandemic. 

Three days before the game, Fiji revealed two members of their travelling party had tested positive for COVID-19 and the contest was cancelled the following day when a further four cases affecting close contacts in the squad were reported.

Fiji's match with Italy in round two - set to take place in Ancona on Saturday – remains under review, with a decision likely after additional rounds of testing.

"Whilst no fault has been apportioned to Fiji Rugby, the competition rules provide that if a team is primarily responsible for a match not taking place, a 28-0 victory will be awarded to the opposition that could have played the match," Six Nations Rugby, who are organising the competition, said in a statement.

"We wish the affected Fiji players well as they continue their recovery and are working closely with the Fiji team, to ensure that they are able to field a competitive team against Italy." 

France will belatedly play their first match when they face Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Jamie George became the first England hooker to score a Test hat-trick as the Red Rose eased to a 40-0 bonus-point thrashing of Georgia in their Autumn Nations Cup opener Twickenham.

Jack Willis marked his debut with the opening try 14 minutes in and George helped himself to a first-half double as the newly-crowned Six Nations champions overpowered Georgia with driving mauls following lineouts after kicking for the corner.

Jonathan Joseph, who was withdrawn due to injury, and Henry Slade combined to fashion a fourth try for Elliot Daly to put Eddie Jones' dominant side 26-0 up at the break on Saturday.

George made history by crashing over at the back of another driving maul in the rain and Dan Robson crossed from close range, with Owen Farrell slotting over five out of six conversion attempts in an emphatic win.

In-form Scotland came from behind to secure a 28-17 bonus-point victory over Italy in their Autumn Nations Cup opener on Saturday.

Gregor Townsend's side extended their winning run to five matches at Stadio Artemio Franchi, but were in danger of suffering a surprise defeat at the hands of a youthful Azzurri side.

Matteo Minozzi's try put Italy in front at half-time and Paolo Garbisi's third penalty gave them a 14-7 lead early in the second half.

Scotland improved after the break, though, with Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings and George Turner going over after Duhan van der Merwe crossed in the first half to seal maximum points in Florence.

Nicolas Sanchez said inspiring a historic victory over New Zealand was extra special as the fly-half thought his Argentina career was over after the Rugby World Cup.

The Pumas had failed to beat the All Blacks in 29 Tests before securing a magnificent 25-15 Tri Nations victory in Sydney on Saturday.

Sanchez scored all of the Pumas' points at Bankwest Stadium, booting six penalties between the posts and touching down for a first-half try.

Argentina had not played since the Rugby World Cup last October due to the coronavirus crisis and 32-year-old Sanchez revealed he did not think he would play for his country again following the tournament in Japan.

The number 10, who is the second-highest points-scorer against the All Blacks behind Matt Burke, said: "It was a very hard year. After the World Cup we all had something very strong inside, but the pandemic helped us transform.

"These last four weeks of preparation were spectacular and today it was spectacular. We knew that with our defence they could not advance. We proposed this, we came to win and we are happy.

"Adversity always makes teams stronger. Now in our heads we only have the idea of ​​continuing to grow. When the World Cup ended I thought my career at the Pumas was over, I didn't think I was going to be able to wear the jersey again. and much less being here."

Emotional Pumas head coach Mario Ledesma was full of praise for his side after they carried out the game plan to perfection.

"These guys are in love with what they do and it was reflected on the pitch," said Ledesma.

"When we sat in the stands, before the game started, it didn't seem real to me to be experiencing something like this. After everything that happened, waiting for a game again was crazy.

"But with the pandemic there are things that are difficult to do. There was a lot of intangibles that came together and that was reflected here. We never beat them and we came to win here.

"We talked about being very disciplined, where we wanted to play, at what pace, and that happened. The players took what we had talked about to the letter. And there are many things that are happening between them, with the appearance of new leaders, new ways of doing things.

"Many people prepared this. And it's nice to see the fruits, because I would have said the same thing if we had lost, but this validates a bit what has been done since the beginning of the year.

"There is a cohesion that is being generated that is very beautiful. We all wanted that to be seen on the field and it happened. In Argentine rugby an immense work is done. I want to thank all those who support us, in some way we play for them also."

Pablo Matera said it was mission accomplished after "hungry" Argentina were able to fill "chests with pride" by securing a historic victory over New Zealand.

The Pumas sparked jubilant scenes on the pitch and in the stands at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday when they defeated the All Blacks for the first time in 30 Tests.

Fly-half Nicolas Sanchez scored all of Argentina's points in a famous 25-15 Tri Nations win in Sydney.

Argentina had not played since the Rugby World Cup in October 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they came out firing in their first game of the tournament to consign Ian Foster's side to back-to-back defeats.

Captain Matera savoured a special day for his country.

The flanker said: "I don't know how to put it into words. They were eight very hard months [without being able to play].

"A lot of work, a lot of people who are not here, but we have a very hungry team and we came to fill all the people in Argentina's chests with pride."

The skipper added: "We play for the boys, for Argentine rugby.

"There are a lot of boys who haven't played rugby with their friends for eight months and we went out onto the pitch to show that we can and hopefully bring more people to rugby."

Argentina do battle with Australia at McDonald Jones Stadium in their next Tri Nations encounter on November 21.

Ian Foster said New Zealand are "hurting greatly" and Sam Cane admitted they "weren't good enough" in a shock historic defeat to Argentina.

The All Blacks were expected to respond to a loss against Australia last weekend with a Tri Nations victory in their third match of the tournament at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday.

Argentina had other ideas, beating New Zealand for the first time at the 30th attempt with a 25-15 triumph in Sydney.

Nicolas Sanchez scored all of the Pumas' points in a stunning victory that was even more impressive given it was their first match since October 2019 at the Rugby World Cup.

New Zealand have now lost two out of three Tri Nations matches and head coach Foster said they could have no complaints after losing back-to-back Tests for the first time since August 2011

"It was the second week in a row we haven't had good composure when things didn't go our way," Foster said.

"We're hurting greatly but they should be very proud of their team. It was a historic win for them."

Cane doffed his cap to Argentina, but felt New Zealand left themselves down.

"The lesson is in Test match rugby you've got to turn up with the right intent, the right attitude every single weekend, or you get it handed to you," said the All Blacks captain.

"They were good, and we weren't good enough. Their defence was outstanding."

Cane scored a second-half try and Caleb Clarke touched down late on, but Argentina had a famous victory in the bag by then.

Argentina made history by claiming their first win over New Zealand with a sensational 25-15 victory in Sydney on Saturday.

The Pumas had not beaten the All Blacks in 29 previous Tests – losing 28 games and drawing once – but that dramatically changed in their first international since last year's Rugby World Cup in October as Nicolas Sanchez produced a masterclass and scored every point for his team.

Argentina held a 16-3 half-time lead and never looked back in the Tri-Nations showdown, despite a New Zealand rally at Bankwest Stadium, where the All Blacks were condemned to back-to-back Test defeats for the first time since August 2011.

The All Blacks were desperate for a response following last week's 24-22 loss to trans-Tasman rivals Australia in the final Bledisloe Cup encounter, having already wrapped up the title.

But Ian Foster did not get the reaction he wanted as Argentina stunned a near full strength New Zealand on Australian soil.

Argentina and New Zealand traded penalty goals before the Pumas took control – star Sanchez collecting the rebound after his chipped pass bounced horribly for Beauden Barrett and crossing in the 19th minute.

Pumas fly-half Sanchez had two tries and as many assists in his previous five Tests against New Zealand heading into the match, scoring 50 points.

With the All Blacks rattled, Sanchez drilled two more penalty goals before half-time as Argentina moved clear.

Argentina extended their lead thanks to Sanchez's fourth three-pointer of the game, though New Zealand threatened a comeback when Sam Came crashed over to reduce the deficit to 19-10 in the 53rd minute.

New Zealand huffed and puffed, and while Caleb Clarke muscled his way over at the death, Sanchez's fifth and sixth penalty goals had already put a historic result beyond doubt.

Wales suffered a sixth straight Test defeat as Ireland ran out 32-9 winners in the opening Autumn Nations Cup clash in Dublin on Friday, piling more pressure on Wayne Pivac. 

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton was forced off with a hamstring problem during the first half as the new tournament got under way, yet the hosts still had little trouble in claiming a comfortable victory. 

Sexton kicked two penalties and converted Quinn Roux's try before going off, with Billy Burns' boot then giving Ireland a 16-6 lead at the break. 

Leigh Halfpenny hit his third penalty of the match to lift Wales to nine points soon after the break, but further penalties from Burns and Conor Murray put Ireland well in control before debutant James Lowe wrapped up the win. 

It leaves Wales coach Pivac under increasing scrutiny, with the 2019 World Cup semi-finalists having failed to come close to the performances achieved under Warren Gatland. 

Wales have the chance to respond when they host Georgia next week, while Ireland take on Six Nations champions England at Twickenham.

France's opening Autumn Nations Cup match has been cancelled due to a further four positive coronavirus cases involving opponents Fiji. 

The two teams had been set to meet in Vannes on Sunday in the new tournament, a coronavirus-enforced replacement for the scrapped autumn internationals due to the global pandemic. 

However, Fiji, who on Thursday revealed that two members of their travelling party had tested positive for COVID-19, have now reported further cases affecting close contacts with the squad. 

Without any room in the schedule for the fixture to be rearranged, the result will be decided on Monday, with the likely options a 0-0 draw or a 28-0 bonus-point win for France. 

Fiji's match with Italy in round two - set to take place in Ancona on November 21 - is also now placed into doubt.

"This was a difficult and disappointing decision, but it was the only possible outcome following today's test results," Ben Morel, chief executive of tournament organisers Six Nations Rugby, said in a statement.

"Whilst we've all been eagerly awaiting this match, the welfare of our players and their support teams remain our number one priority.

"In this instance, it is impossible for the Fijians to field a competitive team and we have no other option but to cancel this match. I want to thank the Fijian and French Unions for their collaboration and wish the impacted athletes a speedy recovery."

Argentina must beware the wounded animal when they start their Tri Nations campaign against New Zealand on Saturday.

The All Blacks were beaten 24-22 by Australia at Suncorp Stadium in the final Bledisloe Cup encounter last weekend.

Ian Foster's side had already retained the famous trophy and made eight changes in Brisbane, but his rotation backfired as the Wallabies got up and running in the Tri Nations.

Foster has named a near full-strength side for the round three clash at Bankwest Stadium, where the Pumas will play their first Test since the Rugby World Cup last October.

We use Opta data to preview the contest in Sydney.

- New Zealand are undefeated in their 29 Tests against Argentina (W28, D1). That is the second-most games of any tier one nation against another to have never lost and the fourth-most of any rugby-playing nations overall.

- The All Blacks have won their last seven Tests in Australia against teams other than the Wallabies by an average margin of 45 points per game.

- New Zealand will be out to avoid back-to-back Test defeats for the first time since August 2011.

- Argentina have won two of their last three Tests (L1) and will be hunting for back-to-back Test wins for the first time since June 2016 after a 47-17 win over the USA in their last match.

- New Zealand have beaten 35+ defenders in four of their last five Tests against Argentina after having managed to do so only once in their 11 meetings prior.

- No player won more lineouts in the 2019 edition of The Rugby Championship than Argentina's Guido Petti (13, including two steals).

- Argentina fly-half Nicolas Sanchez has scored two tries and provided as many assists in his last five Tests against New Zealand, scoring 50 points in those matches.

Jack Willis will make his England debut in Saturday's Autumn Nations Cup clash with Georgia at Twickenham.

The Wasps man will line up at openside flanker, with Maro Itoje at blindside and Billy Vunipola keeping his spot at number eight.

Ollie Lawrence, who made his Test debut off the bench against Italy in England's final Six Nations match in Rome, will get his first start for his country alongside Henry Slade in midfield.

"We've had a really good week of training," said head coach Eddie Jones. "We know there are a lot of expectations on us and we've applied ourselves hard and put a lot of pressure on ourselves in the early part of this week.

"Georgia will be a tough opponent, so we have a team with some real power in midfield.  We have a good mix of youth and experience across the squad and they are completely focused on putting in an excellent performance on Saturday.

"We're looking forward to being back at our home at Twickenham, we are humbled by the opportunity and want to give people a reason to smile during such a tough time for the country."

Owen Farrell captains the side from fly-half, while Ben Youngs, who became only the second England player to win 100 caps against Italy, is at scrum-half.

In the front row, Bath prop Will Stuart makes his first international start alongside Jamie George and Ellis Genge.

Elliot Daly returns at full-back after overcoming injury, while Max Malins could make his Test debut after being named among the replacements.

After the Georgia match, Six Nations champions England face Ireland at Twickenham on November 21 before taking on Wales in Llanelli a week later.

England: Elliot Daly, Jonathan Joseph, Ollie Lawrence, Henry Slade, Jonny May, Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs; Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Will Stuart, Charlie Ewels, Joe Launchbury, Maro Itoje, Jack Willis, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Tom Dunn, Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler, Ben Earl, Tom Curry, Dan Robson, Max Malins, Joe Marchant.

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