Marcus Smith partners Danny Care for England while Ellis Genge named captain against Wales in World Cup warm-up match | Rugby Union News

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Ben Youngs and Owen Farrell do not feature in England’s squad to face Wales in one of four upcoming World Cup warm-up friendlies, with Danny Care returning to the line-up alongside Harlequins team-mate Marcus Smith having been omitted by Eddie Jones at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Last Updated: 03/08/23 3:43pm


Steve Borthwick has named Marcus Smith at fly-half with his Harlequins team-mate Danny Care at scrum-half to face Wales on Saturday and calls on them to make the most of their on-pitch partnership.

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Steve Borthwick has named Marcus Smith at fly-half with his Harlequins team-mate Danny Care at scrum-half to face Wales on Saturday and calls on them to make the most of their on-pitch partnership.

Steve Borthwick has named Marcus Smith at fly-half with his Harlequins team-mate Danny Care at scrum-half to face Wales on Saturday and calls on them to make the most of their on-pitch partnership.

Danny Care returns at scrum-half alongside Marcus Smith while Ellis Genge captains England as they take on Wales in Saturday’s World Cup warm-up match in Cardiff. 

Care lines up next to Harlequins team-mate Smith with Ben Youngs and Owen Farrell among those not featured in the squad as head coach Steve Borthwick selects an experimental side amid World Cup preparations.

Loosehead prop Genge will lead England out as captain alongside hooker Jamie Blamire and tighthead prop Will Stuart on the front row for what will make the first of four friendlies ahead of France in September.

England attack coach Richard Wigglesworth says the International friendly against Wales on Saturday is not a final audition for the Rugby World Cup.

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England attack coach Richard Wigglesworth says the International friendly against Wales on Saturday is not a final audition for the Rugby World Cup.

England attack coach Richard Wigglesworth says the International friendly against Wales on Saturday is not a final audition for the Rugby World Cup.

Davin Ribbans of Toulon plays alongside the Leicester Tigers’ George Martin in the second row, while flanker Tom Pearson is one of three uncapped players in the squad as he partners Northampton Saints team-mate Lewis Ludlam, with Alex Dombrandt at No 8.

Leicester’s Guy Porter and Joe Marchant of Stade Francais start in midfield, while Joe Cokanasiga of Bath and Max Malins of Bristol line up on either wing with Freddie Steward at fullback.

“England versus Wales in Cardiff is always an exciting and keenly contested fixture,” said England coach Steve Borthwick.

“I am sure this Saturday will be no different as a tremendous first Test match of the Summer Nations Series.

“We have been impressed with how the whole squad has applied itself both on and off the field over this training camp. We are now looking forward to returning to Test match rugby as we continue our preparations for the Rugby World Cup in France.”

Saracens duo Theo Dan and Tom Willis join Pearson as the other uncapped players in the 23-man squad, with Leicester scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet also among the replacements.

England are set to announce their final squad on August 7 ahead of their opening World Cup game against Argentina on September 9.

‘Not an early World Cup announcement’

Marcus Smith features alongside Danny Care

Marcus Smith features alongside Danny Care

Sky Sports News reporter Eleanor Roper…

“We weren’t sure what to expect from Steve Borthwick’s side to face Wales. With his 33-man World Cup squad being named on Monday, would this effectively be that? It’s fair to say no, this is not an early World Cup announcement.

“Smith starts at fly-half alongside Harlequins team-mates Care and Dombrandt. While Care has 87 England caps and captain Ellis Genge is nearing 50, this is otherwise a fairly experimental side.

“Borthwick names three uncapped players in Pearson, Willis (Tom, not Jack) and Dan. Pearson starts at 7, with the back row hotly contested.

“What’s perhaps more interesting is the names who haven’t been included. Players who were considered to not be nailed on, but aren’t included on Saturday. Does this mean the likes of Ben Earl and Jack Willis are already going to France?

“We’ll have to wait until Monday to find out.”

England XI vs Wales:

Backs: 15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 22 caps), 14. Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 18 caps), 13. Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 15 caps), 12. Guy Porter (Leicester Tigers, 4 caps), 11. Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 14 caps), 10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 21 caps), 9. Danny Care (Harlequins, 87 caps); Forwards: 1. Ellis Genge © (Bristol Bears, 48 caps), 2. Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, 6 caps), 3. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 25 caps), 4. David Ribbans (Toulon, 5 caps), 5. George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap), 6. Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 19 caps), 7. Tom Pearson (Northampton Saints, uncapped), 8. Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 14 caps)

Replacements:

16. Theo Dan (Saracens, uncapped), 17. Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 2 caps), 18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 61 caps), 19. Jonny Hill (Sale Sharks, 19 caps), 20. Tom Willis (Saracens, uncapped), 21. Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 12 caps), 22. George Ford (Sale Sharks, 81 caps), 23. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 56 caps)





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