11202017

Slade in to face Argentina as England rest Lions duo

England rugby

England will host Argentina, Australia and Samoa during the Autumn Internationals

Exeter’s Henry Slade will start at inside centre for England against Argentina on Saturday, with Lions duo Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje rested.

Slade starts alongside Jonathan Joseph in the midfield, while in the absence of Itoje, George Kruis partners Courtney Lawes at lock.

Elliot Daly has recovered from a knee injury to start on the wing.

“This is our best 23 selected in what is our most important game this year,” head coach Eddie Jones said.

Jones had long hinted he would rest some of his British and Irish Lions this autumn, but while Farrell and Itoje are left out, Mako Vunipola, Dan Cole, Lawes, Kruis, Daly, Joseph and Anthony Watson all start against the Pumas.

With Farrell not involved, Slade has ousted Saracens’ Alex Lozowski to start at 12. Ben Youngs and George Ford resume their half-back combination, while Watson and Mike Brown complete the back three.

Wing Jonny May has not recovered from a hamstring problem, so Semesa Rokoduguni is named among the replacements.

Sam Underhill, 21, has edged out 19-year-old Tom Curry to start at open-side flanker, with the Sale player on the bench.

Hooker Dylan Hartley again captains the side, with Jamie George, Ellis Genge and Harry Williams the replacement front-row players.

“As a squad we have been preparing for this game since our first camp in August and are excited about playing in front of 82,000 fans at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday,” Jones added.

“We know that Argentina is a strong team – Rugby World Cup semi-finalists in 2015 – and we will have to be smart and play well to beat them.”

England XV: Mike Brown; Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Henry Slade, Elliot Daly; George Ford, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Dylan Hartley (capt), Dan Cole, Courtney Lawes, George Kruis, Chris Robshaw, Sam Underhill, Nathan Hughes

Replacements: Jamie George, Ellis Genge, Harry Williams, Joe Launchbury, Tom Curry, Danny Care, Alex Lozowski, Semesa Rokoduguni

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