England rest Farrell and Itoje for Test against Los Pumas




(Photo: Getty Images)

By Adam Ellis

George Ford stands to resume England kicking duties in lieu Eddie Jones’ decision to rest Owen Farrell for England’s first Test of the autumn internationals against Argentina on Saturday.

Exeter Chiefs centre Henry Slade replaces Farrell in midfield who will be watching the match from the sidelines along with Saracens team-mate Maro Itoje who is also rested.

With a match against the Wallabies to follow the Test against Los Pumas, head coach Eddie Jones backed his decision to rest Farrell and Itoje and said it was no oversight on the challenge Argentina represent.

“This is our best 23 selected in what is our most important game this year,” Jones said.

“As a squad we have been preparing for this game since our first camp in August and are excited about playing in front of 82,000 fans at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday.

“We know that Argentina is a strong team – Rugby World Cup semi-finalists in 2015 – and we will have to be smart and play well to beat them.”

The back row has been a talking point in the lead up to the autumn internationals with Jones opting for Sam Underhill to partner Chris Robshaw and Nathan Hughes in the pack, as opposed to another up-and-coming openside flanker in 19-year-old Tom Curry who will take his place on the replacements’ bench.

A cause of concern for Jones had been options to start on the wing after injuries to Jonny May and Jack Nowell, but Elliot Daly has recovered ahead of schedule from a knee injury to be named in the starting XV.

England team to play Argentina: Mike Brown, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Henry Slade, Elliot Daly, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Dylan Hartley (capt), Dan Cole, Courtney Lawes, George Kruis, Chris Robshaw, Sam Underhill, Nathan Hughes.

Replacements: Jamie George, Ellis Genge, Harry Williams, Joe Launchbury, Tom Curry, Danny Care, Alex Lozowski, Semesa Rokoduguni.

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