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Thursday Aug 10, 2023

England announce a much changed starting team for clash against Wales this weekend

England have announced their starting team to face Wales at Twickenham on Saturday with no fewer than 11 changes to the starting team that returned home defeated last weekend.

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Ben Earl gains his first-ever test start as he lines up alongside Courtney Lawes on the flank – with big Billy Vunipola back in the squad slotting in at number 8.

Maro Itoje returns to the starting team alongside George Martin who will earn just his third England cap on Saturday. These two will be placed behind an experienced front row of Joe Marler, Jamie George, and Will Stuart.

Jack van Poortvliet has been given the nod at scrum-half ahead of the more experienced Ben Youngs and Danny Care, as he looks to link up with captain Owen Farrell in the other playmaking position.

Ollie Lawrence will get the opportunity to work alongside Joe Marchant in the centres, as the bruising Bath player will look to combine his line-breaking ability with Marchant’s athletic skills.

Youngster Henry Arundell makes a start on the wing alongside the experienced Elliot Daly who has also been selected in England’s World Cup squad despite being out of favour for quite some time.

Finally, backing up the squad as always is the 23-cap fullback Freddie Steward as he looks to dominate the air battle and give the England side a solid last-man defence.

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England Line Up:
15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 23 caps)
14. Henry Arundell (Racing 92, 7 caps)
13. Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 16 caps)
12. Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 11 caps)
11. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 57 caps)
10. Owen Farrell © (Saracens, 106 caps)
9. Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 13 caps)
1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 79 caps)
2. Jamie George (Saracens, 77 caps)
3. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 26 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 67 caps)
5. George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)
6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 97 caps)
7. Ben Earl (Saracens, 15 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 68 caps)

Replacements:
16. Theo Dan (Saracens, 1 cap)
17. Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 49 caps)
18. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 100 caps)
19. Jonny Hill (Sale Sharks, 20 caps)
20. Jack Willis (Toulouse, 10 caps)
21. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 122 caps)
22. George Ford (Sale Sharks, 82 caps)
23. Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 19 caps)

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