England Rugby World Cup 2023 team to face Argentina CONFIRMED with major gamble amid injury crisis | The Sun

England Rugby World Cup 2023 team to face Argentina CONFIRMED with major gamble amid injury crisis | The Sun

ENGLAND coach Steve Borthwick has taken a major World Cup gamble on flanker Tom Curry for the crunch tournament opener against Argentina.

The Sale back row has not featured for the Red Rose since the final game of the Eddie Jones era against South Africa in November after a series of hamstring injuries.

Then an ankle problem prevented the 25-year-old from playing any part in England’s dire warm-up campaign this summer.

England take on Argentina in Saturday's late game, starting at 8pm.

But with Billy Vunipola and Owen Farrell both suspended, Borthwick is pinning his faith in Curry to give much-needed power to the back row alongside stand-in skipper Courtney Lawes and No 8 Ben Earl.

But Curry’s selection is not the only big call as Borthwick, who has resisted the temptation to throw Marcus Smith in at full-back, named two players who were NOT in his original 33-man squad and a veteran prop.


I was a Rugby World Cup champ but now I enjoy a career as a fire-fighting pilot

Win an Everose Gold Rolex or £27k cash from just 80p with our discount code

Northampton’s Alex Mitchell has leapfrogged from fourth-choice scrum half to the starting No 9 after being called up to replace crocked Jack van Poortvliet last month.

Winger Jonny May, overlooked when the squad was first name, has got the nod to play on the right, with Elliot Daly on the other wing.

And in the front row, Dan Cole, 36 and part of the 2011 World Cup squad but who had dropped down to third choice just a few months ago, is selected ahead of Kyle Sinckler and Will Stuart to play alongside Ellis Genge and hooker Jamie George.

The choices will see under-pressure Borthwick accused of more muddled thinking ahead of a match that will potentially define England’s campaign right at the start.

Most read in Rugby Union


I was on Tindall’s dwarf-tossing ‘stag do’ where England star got nicked


Hosts take on All Blacks in thrilling Rugby World Cup opener


I’m the only England Rugby World Cup winner who’s also part of Royal Family


I was a Rugby World Cup champ but now I enjoy a career as a fire-fighting pilot

A win over a side that won the two teams’ last meeting at Twickenham in the autumn would put the Red Rose on course for a quarter-final appearance in the “softer” half of the draw.


Defeat, though, would leave them on a knife-edge ahead of their remaining pool games against Japan, Chile and finally Samoa.

But Borthwick, who named Smith, his Harlequin half-back partner Danny Care and Lewis Ludlam on a bench that had no place for Kyle Sinckler, insisted his side are ready to prove the doubters wrong.

He said: “With an excellent week of preparation in Le Touquet, the players are now looking forward to starting their Rugby World Cup campaign under the lights in Marseille on Saturday.

“After a number of impressive performances in the last 12 months by Argentina, we know that the first game in our pool will provide a stern test.

“This great tournament provides an excitingly special opportunity for our players, who I know, as ever, will be giving their all in front of our travelling support in the south of France.”

England team

Freddie Steward (Leicester); Elliot Daly (Saracens), Joe Marchant (Stade Francais), Manu Tuilagi (Sale), Jonny May (Gloucester); George Ford (Sale), Alex Mitchell (Northampton); Ellis Genge (Bristol), Jamie George (Saracens), Dan Cole (Leicester); Maro Itoje (Saracens), Ollie Chessum (Leicester); Courtney Lawes (capt, Northampton), Ben Earl (Saracens), Tom Curry (Sale)

Replacements: Theo Dan (Saracens), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Will Stuart (Bath), George Martin (Leicester), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton), Danny Care (Harlequins), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Ollie Lawrence (Bath)

Source: Read Full Article