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Big Sam Burgess gets a big chunk of bench for England's World Cup opener

Brad Barritt will continue as Stuart Lancaster’s inside centre after his recovery from ankle and calf injuries.

Burgess and Watson share a joke in Twickenham
Burgess and Watson share a joke in Twickenham
Image: Andrew Matthews

ENGLAND HEAD COACH Stuart Lancaster has named the first starting XV of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

England will kick off the tournament against Fiji on Friday and Lancaster has picked line-up showing minimal changes from the team that went so close to winning a Six Nations title with a final day 55- 35 win over France.

There is no place in the starting ranks for league convert Sam Burgess as Brad Barritt steps in to midfield along side Jonathan Joseph after the Saracens centre completed a comeback from injury in the warm-up win over Ireland.

Along with Barritt, the remaining additions from the mad March Test in Twickenham are in the back row where captain Chris Robshaw is joined by Tom Wood and Ben Morgan with Billy Vunipola relegated to a muscular bench.

England (v Fiji)

15. Mike Brown
14. Anthony Watson
13. Jonathan Joseph
12. Brad Barritt
11. Jonny May
10. George Ford
9. Ben Youngs

1. Joe Marler
2. Tom Youngs
3. Dan Cole
4. Geoff Parling
5. Courtney Lawes
6. Tom Wood
7. Chris Robshaw (Capt.)
8. Ben Morgan

Replacements:

16. Rob Webber
17. Mako Vunipola
18. Kieran Brookes
19. Joe Launchbury
20. Billy Vunipola
21. Richard Wigglesworth
22. Owen Farrell
23. Sam Burgess

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Sean Farrell

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