Launchbury to start against Wales
Date: 9 Aug 2019
England Head Coach Eddie Jones has named Joe Launchbury in his starting line-up for Sunday's clash with Wales in the first Quilter International of the season at Twickenham Stadium (kick-off 2pm live on Sky Sports).
George Ford (Leicester Tigers) will captain England with 377 caps in the starting XV which includes two debutants. Gloucester Rugby’s Willi Heinz is named at half-back and Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby) is set to start on the right wing. Heinz and Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), who will wear the number seven shirt, are named as vice captains.
Anthony Watson will play on the left wing in his first Test since March 2018 following long-term injury. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs) is named at hooker and will make his first start in 12 matches for England.
Three uncapped players Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), Joe Marchant (Harlequins) and Jack Singleton (Saracens) are named as finishers.
Jones said: “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 Rugby World Cup.
“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.
“Our team selection and tactics in our next four games are all about developing a team capable of winning in Japan and our overarching target of being ready when we get on the plane on the September 8 to win the World Cup.
“We are looking forward to playing at Twickenham and giving the home crowd something to smile about.”
Captain Ford said: “This week we have had some great prep coming off the back of a great 12 days in Treviso where we did a lot of hard work in the heat and in the humidity out there.
“To get back here and have a game at the end of the week is great and we have turned our focus to tactically how we want to play the game, what we want to look like defensively and how we want to play with the ball in hand as well. We want to be adaptable and we keep on challenging ourselves in training to do that.”
15 Elliot Daly (Saracens, 30 caps)
14 Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 22 caps)
12 Piers Francis (Northampton Saints, 4 caps)
11 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 33 caps)
10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 55 caps) (c)
9 Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped) VC
1 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 9 caps)
2 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 11 caps)
3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 85 caps)
4 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 58 caps)
5 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 10 caps)
6 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 10 caps)
7 Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 9 caps) VC
8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 41 caps)
16 Jack Singleton (Saracens, uncapped)
17 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 59 caps)
18 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 17 caps)
19 George Kruis (Saracens, 32 caps)
20 Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
21 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 85 caps)
22 Joe Marchant (Harlequins, uncapped)
23 Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 4 caps)