World Cup warm-up: England v Wales
Venue: Twickenham Date: Sun, 11 Aug Kick-off: 14:00 BST

Gloucester scrum-half Willi Heinz and Bath wing Ruaridh McConnochie will make their England debuts against Wales on Sunday as they make a late bid for World Cup selection.

Heinz is named vice-captain and partners skipper George Ford at half-back, with at inside centre.

Elsewhere, flankers and Tom Curry play together in the back row for the first time.

“Our team selection and tactics in our next four games are all about developing a team capable of winning in Japan,” said head coach .

Both Heinz and McConnochie were surprise inclusions in the wider training squad, with Heinz now edging ahead of Ben Spencer in the battle to be Ben Youngs’ back-up.

The New Zealand-born playmaker now looks almost certain of a place in the final 31-man World Cup squad, which is named on Monday.

Meanwhile, former England sevens star McConnochie only switched to the XV-a-side version last summer, but has done enough to play his way into contention, especially with concerns lingering over Jack Nowell’s fitness.

McConnochie lines up in a back three with full-back Elliot Daly and club-mate Anthony Watson, who makes a first England appearance since March 2018 after overcoming a serious Achilles injury.

Elsewhere, young Northampton flanker Le Ludlam is set to make his debut off the bench, as are Harlequins centre Joe Marchant and Saracens hooker Jack Singleton.

“We have completed our four weeks of pre-season training and now we have moved into four weeks of warm up games ahead of the World Cup,” Jones added.

“Our focus has now changed to match preparation and fitness and creating a game that will stand up to the rigours of the tournament where we have to win seven games in sevens weeks.”

England team to face Wales:

Daly; McConnochie, Slade, Francis Watson; Ford, Heinz; Genge, Cowan-Dickie, Cole, Launchbury, Ewels, Curry, Underhill, B.Vunipola.

Replacements: Singleton, Marler, , Kruis, Ludlam, Youngs, Marchant, Cokanasiga.


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