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Bath wing and 7s specialist to make debut as England name side to face Wales

Ruaridh McConnochie has overcome a hip problem and is set to feature.

England's Ruaridh McConnochie.
England's Ruaridh McConnochie.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

RUARIDH MCCONNOCHIE WILL make his England debut a week later than hoped for after overcoming a hip problem in time to start against Wales in a World Cup warm-up match in Cardiff on Saturday.

The Bath wing and sevens specialist was picked in the team to face the Grand Slam champions at Twickenham last weekend but was among a trio of late withdrawals due to injury for England’s 33-19 win.

Eddie Jones makes three changes for the trip to Cardiff with Maro Itoje and Courtney Lawes also coming into the side.

George Ford is again named as captain with regular skipper Owen Farrell making his first appearance of the World Cup warm-up schedule, but only on the bench.

Our selection strategy for our second game is similar to the first, so a bit of a mix-and-match approach. We are looking at different combinations and have a particular strategy for this game,” said Jones, who has already announced his 31-man squad for the World Cup.

“The game is very much about ourselves preparing for the World Cup and we are respectful that we have got such strong opposition at their home ground. We are looking forward to it. 

“The squad has been progressing well this week and I think there is a realisation among the squad now that the hard work really starts, nothing has been achieved.”

Wales also made three changes with Dan Biggar drafted in for the injured Gareth Anscombe.

Jake Ball and James Davies, who will line-up alongside elder brother Jonathan Davies for the first time at international level, also come into the side that missed out on top spot in the world rankings with defeat at Twickenham.

Wales also lost a key player with Anscombe ruled out of the World Cup after suffering cruciate ligament damage last weekend.

“This weekend is another opportunity for us to take the field, test ourselves and continue our preparation for Japan,” said Wales head coach Warren Gatland.

It is a little over five weeks until we kick off our campaign in Toyota against Georgia and it is important we are fully prepared and rugby-ready by then.

“We were disappointed to get the loss last weekend so it is important we step it up on Saturday and put in a big display in front of a packed Principality Stadium.”

England:

15. Elliot Daly
14. Ruaridh McConnochie
13. Jonathan Joseph
12. Piers Francis
11. Joe Cokanasiga
10. George Ford (captain)
9. Willi Heinz

1. Ellis Genge
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie
3. Dan Cole
4. Joe Launchbury
5. Maro Itoje
6. Courtney Lawes
7. Lewis Ludlam
8. Billy Vunipola

Wales:

15. Liam Williams 
14. George North
13. Jonathan Davies 
12. Hadleigh Parkes 
11. Josh Adams 
10. Dan Biggar 
9. Gareth Davies 

1. Nicky Smith 
2. Ken Owens 
3. Tomas Francis 
4. Jake Ball 
5. Alun Wyn Jones (captain)
6. Aaron Wainwright 
7. James Davies 
8. Ross Moriarty.

© – AFP 2019

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