England ring the changes for Uruguay

2015-10-06 15:49
Stuart Lancaster (Gallo)

London - Coach Stuart Lancaster has made nine changes for England's final game of the Rugby World Cup against Uruguay on Saturday, with backs Henry Slade, Jack Nowell, Danny Care and Alex Goode getting their first call ups of the tournament.

George Ford returns at flyhalf with Owen Farrell shunting over to inside centre, the positions they filled during the second half of last Saturday's 33-13 defeat by Australia that ended England's chances of making the quarter-finals.

Mako Vunipola, James Haskell and Nick Easter all start in the pack in the game at Manchester City's stadium.

There was no place in the squad for centre Sam Burgess while injuries took Brad Barritt, Courtney Lawes, Ben Morgan and Ben Youngs out of the equation.

"This is an opportunity for us to finish the tournament with a strong performance and a chance for young players such as Jack Nowell and Henry Slade to play in a World Cup," Lancaster said.

"We owe it to ourselves and the supporters who have been brilliant throughout. This is an important game for rugby in the north of England and we want to give those people who have been looking forward to this game something to cheer about.

"It's very important we put a positive and attacking display together.

"Some of our most talented players are our younger players."

Lancaster looked less of the beaten man than he did on Monday in the wake of the Australia defeat but said it still felt bad.

"You have to at some point as a leader give everyone a sense of direction and perspective," he said.

"The noise on the outside at the moment is huge, obviously, but internally I'm determined the team stays together, positive and believing in what they are doing.

"We've played some brilliant rugby over the last 18 months and before that. We've not won every game but we've won a lot and played some good rugby and people shouldn't forget that."

Asked about his tournament regrets, he said: "We lost the Wales game from being 22-12 up - we shouldn't have been in a position where we ended up losing that game so that will be a regret.

"The last 10 minutes of Australia too wasn't a reflection of the game, but speaking to the boys they felt the Australia team they played on the day was one of the best teams we have played against in four years.

"We were beaten by a better side against Australia so the regret goes back to the Wales game and not finishing that off."


15 Alex Goode, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Jack Nowell, 10 George Ford, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 James Haskell, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Mako Vunipola. 

Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Joe Marler, 18 David Wilson, 19 George Kruis, 20 Tom Wood, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Jonathan Joseph, 23 Mike Brown.

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