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McConnochie to make England debut against Wales

McConnochie to make England debut against Wales
FILE PHOTO - Rugby Union - Premiership - Newcastle Falcons v Bath Rugby - Kingston Park, Newcastle, Britain - November 23, 2018 Bath Rugby's Ruaridh McConnochie scores his sides first try Action Images/Craig Brough -
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CRAIG BROUGH(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – Ruaridh McConnochie will win his first England cap in a World Cup warm-up against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, days after being included in Eddie Jones’s 31-man squad.

The 27-year-old Bath wing, who was withdrawn from last Sunday’s team due to injury, replaces Anthony Watson, and is one of three changes to the starting XV that played at Twickenham.

Maro Itoje comes into the second row for Charlie Ewels, with Courtney Lawes replacing the injured Tom Curry at blindside flanker and Lewis Ludlam moving to openside.

England beat Wales 33-19 last Sunday.

George Ford was again named as captain with fly-half Owen Farrell on the bench.

Scrum-half Willi Heinz, his place on the plane to Japan also secured, wins his second cap.

“Our selection strategy for our second game is similar to the first, so a bit of a mix-and-match approach,” said Jones. “We are looking at different combinations and have a particular strategy for this game.

“The game is very much about ourselves preparing for the World Cup and we are respectful that we have got such strong opposition at their home ground. We are looking forward to it.

“The squad has been progressing well this week and I think there is a realisation among the squad now that the hard work really starts; nothing has been achieved.”

Starting XV:

15-Elliot Daly, 14-Ruaridh McConnochie, 13-Jonathan Joseph, 12-Piers Francis, 11-Joe Cokanasiga, 10-George Ford (captain), 9-Willi Heinz; 1-Ellis Genge, 2-Luke Cowan-Dickie, 3-Dan Cole, 4-Joe Launchbury, 5-Maro Itoje, 6-Courtney Lawes, 7-Lewis Ludlam, 8-Billy Vunipola.

Replacements:

16-Jamie George, 17-Joe Marler, 18-Kyle Sinckler, 19-George Kruis, 20-Jack Singleton, 21-Ben Youngs, 22-Owen Farrell, 23-Manu Tuilagi.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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