Three Exeter Chiefs players have been named in Eddie Jones’ team for England’s match against Japan at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday (3.15pm kick-off).
Winger Jack Nowell, hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie and No.8 Sam Simmonds all start, while Exeter team-mate, centre Henry Slade, is on the replacements’ bench. David Ribbans will make his England debut after being named at lock. He will play alongside former Chief Jonny Hill, while props Ellis Genge (vice-captain) and Kyle Sinckler and Cowan-Dickie complete the tight five. Simmonds comes in at No 8 for Billy Vunipola, with Maro Itoje and Tom Curry staying as flankers. There is a return for Jonny May, following injury, for the first time since November 2021 on the left wing. Nowell (vice-captain) is at right wing and Freddie Steward is full-back. Owen Farrell (inside centre) will again captain the side for his 99th cap. Guy Porter comes in at outside centre. Jack van Poortvliet will start at scrum-half and Marcus Smith stays at fly-half. Jamie George also returns from injury and is named as a finisher, alongside Alex Coles who could add to the debut cap he won last week. They are joined by Mako Vunipola, Joe Heyes, Billy Vunipola, Ben Youngs, Slade and Manu Tuilagi to complete the 23. Jones said: “We’ve worked hard this week to improve on last week’s performance. We’ve taken a good look at our preparation and we are happy with our position going into the game. “We’ve made a few changes to the side as we play these four games in November. In particular with Manu we are balancing his workload. “Japan are a very good and intriguing side. They play a unique type of rugby based on continuity and team cohesion and we’ll have to be at our best against them at Twickenham on Saturday.” England v Japan is live on Amazon Prime Sport and talkSPORT. ENGLAND XV 15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 14 caps) 14. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 43 caps) 13. Guy Porter (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps) 12. Owen Farrell (C) (Saracens, 98 caps) 11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 69 caps) 10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 14 caps) 9. Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 4 caps) 1. Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 40 caps) 2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 38 caps) 3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 53 caps) 4. David Ribbans (Northampton Saints, uncapped) 5. Jonny Hill (Sale Sharks, 16 caps) 6. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 59 caps) 7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 42 caps) 8. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 15 caps) FINISHERS 16. Jamie George (Saracens, 69 caps) 17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 71 caps) 18. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 6 caps) 19. Alex Coles (Northampton Saints, 1 cap) 20. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 65 caps) 21. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 118 caps) 22. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 49 caps) 23. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 47 caps)