Billy Vunipola and Manu Tuilagi dropped to England’s bench for Japan clash

England have dropped Manu Tuilagi and Billy Vunipola for Saturday’s clash with Japan as they look to rebound after launching the autumn with a dismal defeat by Argentina.

Tuilagi has been replaced by Guy Porter at outside centre and Sam Simmonds fills the number eight jersey vacated by Vunipola with both demoted players included on the bench.

In total there are five changes to the starting XV toppled 30-29 by the Pumas including an adjustment at scrum-half where Jack van Poortvliet is preferred to Ben Youngs.

Van Poortvliet is rewarded for making an impact as a second-half replacement against Argentina by scoring a dynamic solo try and Youngs will supply bench cover.

Joe Cokanasiga made way for Jonny May, who has overcome an elbow issue, on the left wing despite offering a carrying threat in the opening assignment of the Autumn Nations Series.

The second change to the pack sees David Ribbans make his debut in the second row in place of Saints team-mate Alex Coles, who won his first cap last weekend.

Jamie George completes his unexpectedly quick recovery from a foot injury to deputise for starting hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie but there is no place among the replacements for Jack Willis.

“We’ve worked hard this week to improve on last week’s performance,” head coach Eddie Jones said.

England’s Joe Cokanasiga
England’s Joe Cokanasiga during the Autumn International defeat by Argentina (Ben Whitley/PA)

“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.”