England's World Cup Plans Hit By Player Spat, Injuries
Muhammad Rameez 9 days ago Sat 10th August 2019 | 11:11 PM
England's World Cup build-up has been disrupted by a spat between Ben Te'o and Mike Brown and a clutch of injury withdrawals before Sunday's Test against Six Nations champions Wales
Despite the RFU's earlier admission, Jones bizarrely replied when asked about the incident: "No, I'm not able to confirm that. I'm not able to confirm. I think I've answered the question." Plans for the opening warm-up Test against Warren Gatland's team have been disturbed by injuries to centre Henry Slade, flanker Sam Underhill and wing Ruaridh McConnochie.
A day after naming the starting XV, Jones was forced into a significant reshuffle, including to the back row, where the experiment of deploying opensides Underhill and Tom Curry in tandem will have to be delayed.
Slade (knee), Underhill (toe) and McConnochie (hip) have been ruled out, so Jonathan Joseph, Joe Cokanasiga and Lewis Ludlum have been propelled into the starting XV.
Jones, however, shrugged off the mounting problems as ideal for this stage of tournament preparation.
Gatland's side, who are chasing a 15th successive victory, have made a change to their match-day 23 for Sunday, with scrum-half Tomos Williams being ruled out.
His place on the bench has been taken by Ospreys' Aled Davies.
England (15-1) Elliot Daly; Joe Cokanasiga, Jonathan Joseph, Piers Francis, Anthony Watson; George Ford (capt), Willi Heinz; Billy Vunipola, Tom Curry, Lewis Ludlam; Charlie Ewels, Joe Launchbury; Dan Cole, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge Replacements: Jack Singleton, Joe Marler, Harry Williams, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Ben Youngs, Joe Marchant, Manu Tuilagi Coach: Eddie Jones (AUS) Wales (15-1) Liam Williams; George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams; Gareth Anscombe, Gareth Davies; Ross Moriarty, Justin Tipuric, Aaron Wainwright; Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Adam Beard; Tomas Francis, Ken Owens, Nicky SmithReplacements: Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones, Dillon Lewis, Jake Ball, Aaron Shingler, Aled Davies, Dan Biggar, Owen WatkinCoach: Warren Gatland (NZL)