May returns as England change five for Japan | Ribbans to make debut


Jonny May has recovered after dislocating his elbow last month; David Ribbans is set to make his England debut at lock; Manu Tuilagi and Billy Vunipola are among England’s replacements as Guy Porter starts in midfield alongside captain Owen Farrell and Sam Simmonds is named at No 8

Last Updated: 10/11/22 11:46am

Jonny May has recovered from a dislocated elbow and will start for England on Saturday Jonny May has recovered from a dislocated elbow and will start for England on Saturday

Jonny May has recovered from a dislocated elbow and will start for England on Saturday

Jonny May returns for England as head coach Eddie Jones makes five changes for Saturday’s home Test match against Japan.

May comes in for Joe Cokanasiga out wide with Jack van Poortvliet selected to start at scrum-half. Owen Farrell will lead England out at Twickenham and earn his 99th international cap. Marcus Smith stays at fly-half.

David Ribbans will make his England debut at lock and he will play alongside Jonny Hill in the engine room. Ellis Genge, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Kyle Sinckler form England’s front-row unit.

Sam Simmonds is handed the No 8 jersey instead of Billy Vunipola, who moves to the bench. Manu Tuilagi will also be among the replacements as Guy Porter links up with captain Farrell in midfield.

Jamie George looks to have completed an impressive comeback to fitness after breaking two metatarsals on club duty for Saracens on October 1. He is named on England’s bench alongside club team-mate Mako Vunipola.

Eddie Jones says Manu Tuilagi's workload is being 'balanced' this autumn Eddie Jones says Manu Tuilagi's workload is being 'balanced' this autumn

Eddie Jones says Manu Tuilagi’s workload is being ‘balanced’ this autumn

“We’ve worked hard this week to improve on last week’s performance,” England head coach Jones said. “We’ve taken a good look at our preparation, and we are happy with our position going into the game.

“We’ve made a few changes to the side as we play these four games in November. In particular with Manu, we are balancing his workload.

“Japan are a very good and intriguing side. They play a unique type of rugby based on continuity and team cohesion and we’ll have to be at our best against them at Twickenham on Saturday.”

England XV: 15. Freddie Steward, 14. Jack Nowell (vice-captain), 13. Guy Porter, 12. Owen Farrell (captain), 11. Jonny May, 10. Marcus Smith, 9. Jack van Poortvliet, 1. Ellis Genge (vice-captain), 2. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. David Ribbans, 5. Jonny Hill, 6. Maro Itoje, 7. Tom Curry, 8. Sam Simmonds.

Replacements: 16. Jamie George, 17. Mako Vunipola, 18. Joe Heyes, 19. Alex Coles, 20. Billy Vunipola, 21. Ben Youngs, 22. Henry Slade, 23. Manu Tuilagi.

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