Ollie Lawrence keeps England place to face Ireland in Eddie Jones’ “strongest possible” team

Lawrence starts for England for only the second time (Image: Getty Images)

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Ollie Lawrence faces the sternest test of his fledgling England career when he starts against Ireland in the Autumn Nations Cup on Saturday.

Eddie Jones has kept faith with the Worcester youngster, who made his full debut and played for an hour against Georgia only a week ago – leaving experienced centre Jonathan Joseph on the wing.

Not only that, he has paid the 21-year old the highest compliment by insisting that he is part of “the strongest team possible for the most important game of our season”.

Fit-again George Ford only makes the bench, with Jones opting to keep captain Owen Farrell at fly-half.

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Elliot Daly, a try scorer against Georgia, remains at fullback
(Image: PA)

“We have the highest respect for the Ireland and their coach Andy Farrell,” said the Australian. “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.”

The line-up sees a reversion to the pack which beat Italy to capture the Six Nations title last month, save for Joe Launchbury replacing Jonny Hill at lock.

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Joe Launchbury holds off challenge of Jonny Hill to start at lock
(Image: Getty Images Europe)

In the backs Anthony Watson’s injury means Joseph moving to the right wing and Elliot Daly switching to fullback in place of George Furbank, who does not make the squad.

In all, there are four changes to the starting XV from seven days ago, with Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler, Tom Curry and Sam Underhill all restored.


15. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 44 caps)

14. Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 52 caps)

13. Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors, 2 caps)

12. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 31 caps)

11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 58 caps)

10. Owen Farrell (c) (Saracens, 85 caps)

9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 101 caps)

1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 61 caps)

2. Jamie George (Saracens, 51 caps)

3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 37 caps)

4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 40 caps)

5. Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 66 caps)

6. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 25 caps)

7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 19 caps)

8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 53 caps)


16. Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, 2 caps)

17. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 20 caps)

18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 5 caps)

19. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 1 cap)

20. Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 5 caps)

21. Dan Robson (Wasps, 4 caps)

22. George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 69 caps)

23. Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 1 cap)

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