Owen Farrell back at fly-half for England

Date published: October 17 2019

England head coach Eddie Jones has named a strong starting line-up to play Australia in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Oita on Saturday.

Captain Owen Farrell is named at fly-half with Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade selected as the centre pairing.

Jonny May will make his 50th appearance for England on Saturday and is named on the left wing with Anthony Watson on the right. Elliot Daly is selected at full-back.

Billy Vunipola starts at number eight having recovered from injury with Tom Curry and Sam Underhill named as flankers.

Mako Vunipola makes his first start in Japan having played in his first game of the tournament against Argentina from the bench.

Jones said: “Once you get to the quarter-finals it’s about having the right mindset. We know how well we can play, it’s about us playing to our strengths and trying to take away from what Australia want.

“Australia are a clever team, they will have some specific attacking strategies to play against us so we need to have a great situational awareness. We need to defend with brutality and when we have the ball we need play on top of them.”

On May reaching 50 caps for England, Jones added: “It is a great achievement and an honour for him and his family. Everyone in the team is really pleased for him. I think this World Cup has really shown how hard he has worked at his game.

“He has come back from a significant knee injury to be close to the fastest winger, if not the fastest winger in the world, and has the ability to score tries from any situation.”

England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tom Curry, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Dan Cole, 19 George Kruis, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 George Ford, 23 Jonathan Joseph

Date: Saturday, October 19
Venue: Oita Stadium, Oita
Kick-off: 16:15 local (08:15 BST, 07:15 GMT)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Mathieu Raynal (France)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)