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Jack Nowell and Mako Vunipola return for England in clash with Pumas

Jack Nowell

Jack Nowell and Mako Vunipola are both set for their first involvement at the World Cup after being named on the bench for England’s game against Argentina.

The Exeter Chiefs wing underwent surgery in June having sustained an ankle injury in the Premiership final defeat to Saracens.

A three-and-a-half month recovery timetable was similarly dealt to Saracens prop Vunipola, who went under the knife to correct a hamstring problem.

The pair hand England significant boost as they now lie their unbeaten start to the World Cup on the line against tougher opposition in Los Pumas and France.

Head coach Eddie Jones has recalled Owen Farrell to the starting line-up after resting his captain in the 45-7 victory over the USA last Thursday.

The nine-day gap between that match and the trip to Tokyo on Saturday has allowed Jones to name a team short of any surprise.

Scrum-half Ben Youngs is set to move past Jonny Wilkinson in England’s all-time appearances list, to win his 92nd cap.

Leicester Tigers teammate Dan Cole can match the feat off the bench in place of first-choice tighthead Kyle Sinckler.

The scrum will be an area of interest with Argentina losing only one of 13 scrums so far in the tournament.

Joe Marler and Jamie George will pack down in the front row alongside Sinckler, as Maro Itoje and George Kruis complete the tight five.

A starting back row of Tom Curry, Sam Underhill and Billy Vunipola are the youngest trio to start for England since the game turned professional, averaging under 24 years of age.

The power of Manu Tuilagi at outside centre is matched with speed in the back three of Jonny May, Anthony Watson and Elliot Daly.

In announcing the team, Jones commented: “Argentina are always about the physical contest.

“They’ve got good players, they’ve got a reasonably settled way of playing. They enjoy World Cups more than the other major teams, because there’s such a pride and there’s such a passion.

“The challenge for us is to show the same level of intensity and passion at the start of the game.”


TEAMS: England v Argentina, Saturday, 9am kick-off, Tokyo Stadium

England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (capt), 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tom Curry, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler

Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Jack Nowell

Argentina: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Matias Moroni, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Santiago Carreras, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Tomas Cubelli; 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Julian Montoya, 3 Juan Figallo, 4 Guido Petti, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 6 Pablo Matera (capt), 7 Marcos Kremer, 8 Javier Ortega Desio

Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Lucas Mensa, 23 Bautista Delguy

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