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Thursday Sep 7, 2023

Ben Youngs out as England name much changed team to face Argentina

England coach Steve Borthwick has had roughly three-quarters of a year to prepare his side for the World’s biggest rugby competition. It’s been a preparation filled with anguish from fans, poor results, and controversy surrounding the England captain.

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This all being said, one convincing win under their belts in their first match against Argentina will no doubt ignite the typical English optimism that comes along with every major tournament.

Like the impressive England men’s and women’s football teams, their shouts of ‘It’s coming home’ are likely to be mirrored with echoes of ‘Coming for to carry me home’ as English rugby fans allow the ‘Sweet Chariot’ tune to guide their optimism ever upwards as the tournament progresses.

For this currently unlikely scenario to come into existence, however, Borthwick’s men need to forge out a result against a Pumas side that is currently being touted by many in the rugby world as favourites to win the clash.

“With an excellent week of preparation in Le Touquet, the players are now looking forward to starting their Rugby World Cup campaign under the lights in Marseille on Saturday” Borthwick said about his squad.

“After a number of impressive performances in the last 12 months by Argentina, we know that the first game in our pool will provide a stern test.

“This great tournament provides an excitingly special opportunity for our players, who I know, as ever, will be giving their all in front of our travelling support in the south of France.”

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Argentina have found them selves on the back end of beatings by both heavyweights New Zealand and South Africa this year, but have shown themselves to inflict impressive victories over Australia, while recently putting 62 points on Spain.

Their focus turns to England on Saturday in what is expected to be a hard fought match, with both sides needing a victory to establish dominance in a pool that has otherwise been kind to them.

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Joined in Pool D, England and Argentina will have to contend with Japan and Samoa, both sides who come into the tournament slightly short on form and threat, whilst South American side Chile will be looking to cause a major upset in this tournament.

England Team:

15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 26 caps)

14. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 73 caps)

13. Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 19 caps)

12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 53 caps)

11. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 59 caps)

10. George Ford – vice-captain (Sale Sharks, 85 caps)

9. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 6 caps)

1. Ellis Genge – vice-captain (Bristol Bears, 52 caps)

2. Jamie George (Saracens, 79 caps)

3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 102 caps)

4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 70 caps)

5. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 11 caps)

6. Courtney Lawes – captain (Northampton Saints, 100 caps)

7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 45 caps)

8. Ben Earl (Saracens, 18 caps)

Replacements

16. Theo Dan (Saracens, 3 caps)

17. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 82 caps)

18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 29 caps)

19. George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 3 caps)

20. Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 21 caps)

21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 90 caps)

22. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 24 caps)

23. Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 14 caps)

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