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Jones makes nine England changes as Simmonds starts at number eight

23 November 2017 13:07

Sam Simmonds will start for England at number eight for the first time as one of nine changes Eddie Jones has made to his team for their final Autumn international against Samoa.

England have already beaten Argentina and Australia at Twickenham this month and will be looking to complete a clean sweep on Saturday.

Maro Itoje returns to the team at blindside flanker, prompting Chris Robshaw to move to openside.

Simmonds will take over from Wasps' Nathan Hughes, who is out with a bruised knee. 

In the front row, Ellis Genge and Jamie George come in for Mako Vunipola and skipper Dylan Hartley.

With Hartley omitted from the starting line-up, Robshaw and fly-half George Ford will act as co-captains.

Charlie Ewels starts in the second row, Alex Lozowski and Henry Slade are paired together at centre and Mike Brown returns from concussion at full-back.

Danny Care will play at scrum-half as Ben Youngs drops to the bench. 

"This is an exciting squad to play against Samoa and we are expecting them to be immensely physical and committed this weekend," Jones said in a statement on England's website.

"We want to follow up last week’s performance against Australia and play better again this week. Our intent in every game and every training session is to be better.

"This week it is an opportunity for some squad members who haven’t been playing to put their best foot forward. We will have to play smart and will need to find ways to win the contest against Samoa."

 

England: Mike Brown, Jonny May, Henry Slade, Alex Lozowski, Elliot Daly, George Ford, Danny Care; Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Charlie Ewels, Maro Itoje, Chris Robshaw, Sam Simmonds.

Replacements: Dylan Hartley, Joe Marler, Harry Williams, Nick Isiekwe, Courtney Lawes, Ben Youngs, Piers Francis, Semesa Rokoduguni. 

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