Ben Earl starts at No 8 for England vs Fiji in Rugby World Cup warm-up | 100th cap for Courtney Lawes

Ben Earl will start at No 8 for England

Ben Earl will start at No 8 for England

Ben Earl will start at No 8 for England against Fiji on Saturday in the absence of the banned Billy Vunipola as head coach Steve Borthwick makes nine changes to his side.

Vunipola is the only ‘specialist’ No 8 in the England squad but will serve the first game of a two-match suspension following a red card against Ireland, as Earl steps into his role.

George Ford continues at fly-half alongside Alex Mitchell at scrum-half while captain Owen Farrell sits out match two of his four-game suspension.

Courtney Lawes will captain England on his 100th cap, 14 years on from his debut as a 20-year-old against Australia in 2009.

England side to face Fiji

Starting 15: 15. Freddie Steward, 14. Max Malins, 13. Ollie Lawrence, 12. Manu Tuilagi, 11. Jonny May, 10. George Ford, 9. Alex Mitchell, 1. Ellis Genge, 2. Theo Dan, 3. Dan Cole, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. Ollie Chessum, 6. Courtney Lawes (C), 7. Jack Willis (Toulouse, 12 caps), 8. Ben Earl

Replacements: 16. Jack Walker, 17. Joe Marler, 18. Will Stuart, 19. David Ribbans, 20. Lewis Ludlam, 21. Danny Care, 22. Marcus Smith, 23. Joe Marchant

More to follow…

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