England: Owen Farrell to win 100th cap while Sam Simmonds and Billy Vunipola both start in the back-row

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

England have ditched the hybrid forward for their clash with New Zealand after Sam Simmonds and Billy Vunipola were both named in the back-row.

Simmonds shifts to blindside with Vunipola coming back in at number eight as they combine with openside Tom Curry to complete the loose trio.

That means Maro Itoje is back in his best position at lock alongside Jonny Hill in the engine room.

Manu Tuilagi returns

Manu Tuilagi returns at centre after England managed his minutes last week by putting him on the bench and he partners Owen Farrell in the midfield.

Farrell will earn his 100th cap for the Red Rose and will continue the 10-12 playmaking axis with Marcus Smith, who is at fly-half.

Youngster Jack van Poortvliet once again gets the nod at scrum-half after impressing against Japan.

On the wing, Jack Nowell is fit enough to take his place in the XV after pulling out ahead of the contest with the Brave Blossoms and he joins Freddie Steward and Jonny May in the back three.

England have gone for a 5-3 split on the bench. Tighthead prop Will Stuart returns from injury and Jack Willis is also back after missing out last weekend, but the rest of the replacements featured in the 52-13 triumph over the Japanese.

Special milestone

“This fixture doesn’t come around too often and these are the games that players remember in their careers,” said head coach Eddie Jones.

“New Zealand have had the upper hand over the years, but it’s been more balanced in recent times and the players have a chance to play their part in history.

“We’ve had a great week preparing for the game and the team is ready to go at them.

“We’re really pleased for Owen that he is reaching such a significant and special milestone. He is an excellent player and competitor and he is deserving of every cap.”

England: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Jack van Poortvliet, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Sam Simmonds, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Will Stuart, 19 David Ribbans, 20 Jack Willis, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Guy Porter, 23 Henry Slade

Date: Saturday, November 19
Venue: Twickenham, London
Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant Referees: Damon Murphy (Australia), Nika Amashukeli (Georgia)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)

READ MORE: Flashback: The day everything fell into place for England against the All Blacks

The article England: Owen Farrell to win 100th cap while Sam Simmonds and Billy Vunipola both start in the back-row appeared first on Planetrugby.com.