Lawes to bring up century against Fiji at Twickenham
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints) will win his 100th cap as England captain on Saturday as Steve Borthwick's men take on Fiji at Twickenham Stadium (kick-off 3.15pm) in the last of England's Summer Nations Series games before the start of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints) will win his 100th cap as
England captain on Saturday as Steve Borthwick's men take on Fiji
at Twickenham Stadium (kick-off 3.15pm) in the last of England's
Summer Nations Series games before the start of the 2023 Rugby
World Cup in France.
Lawes brings up his century of England appearances having made his debut as a 20-year-old against Australia in 2009.
In all there are nine changes to the starting XV who took the field in Dublin last Saturday. In the front row, Theo Dan (Saracens) gets his first England start at hooker, where he is joined by loosehead prop Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears) - who is named as one of two vice-captains - and Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers) at tighthead.
Having featured off the bench against Ireland, Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers) comes into the side to partner Maro Itoje (Saracens) in the second row. Jack Willis (Toulouse) makes his first start of the Summer Nations Series at openside flanker, with captain Lawes on the blindside and Ben Earl (Saracens) at No.8 to round off the back row.
Scrum-half Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints) partners vice-captain George Ford (Sale Sharks) in the half back berths. In the centres, Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks) and Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby) combine to make a powerful midfield pairing.
In the back three, Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby) features on the left wing for the first time this summer, with Max Malins (Bristol Bears) on the right and Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers) again taking his place at fullback.
Hooker Jack Walker (Harlequins) is named amongst the replacements alongside Joe Marler (Harlequins), Will Stuart (Bath Rugby), David Ribbans (Toulon), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), Danny Care (Harlequins) Marcus Smith (Harlequins) and Joe Marchant (Stade Francais).
"After another eventful and dramatic encounter against the number one team in the world in Dublin last weekend, we are delighted to be back at Twickenham with our home supporters to welcome an in-form Fiji team," said Borthwick.
"All of the Summer Nations Series Test matches have provided us with an opportunity to continue our preparations for the Rugby World Cup in France. Fiji have proven themselves to be a strong opposition and we look forward to what we expect to be an exciting and challenging game. Rest assured that we will be looking to convert the opportunities we have recently been creating week-on-week into points on the scoreboard.
"At this our last Test before heading to France, I want to thank our fans for all the support you continue to give us, and it means a lot to us that you will be behind us all the way on our World Cup journey."
On Courtney Lawes, Borthwick commented: "We couldn't be prouder of Courtney on achieving his incredible milestone after 14 years of excellent performances for his country.
"It has been a privilege to watch his journey and witness him develop into a truly outstanding rugby player.
"Not only is Courtney an exceptional talent and an excellent professional, he is also a brilliant role model for young players every time he steps onto the field."
Saturday's Summer Nations Series clash against Fiji will be shown live and exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.
15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 25 caps)
14. Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 20 caps)
13. Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 13 caps)
12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 52 caps)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 72 caps)
10. George Ford - vice-captain (Sale Sharks, 84 caps)
9. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 5 caps)
1. Ellis Genge - vice-captain (Bristol Bears, 51 caps)
2. Theo Dan (Saracens, 2 caps)
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 101 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 69 caps)
5. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 10 caps)
6. Courtney Lawes - captain (Northampton Saints, 99 caps)
7. Jack Willis (Toulouse, 12 caps)
8. Ben Earl (Saracens, 17 caps)
16. Jack Walker (Harlequins, 3 caps)
17. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 81 caps)
18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 28 caps)
19. David Ribbans (Toulon, 7 caps)
20. Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 20 caps)
21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 89 caps)
22. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 23 caps)
23. Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 18 caps)