England player ratings vs Japan: Steward and Van Poortvliet revive attack as Smith and Farrell link blossoms

Pace injection: Jack van Poortvliet will hope to keep his starting place against the All Blacks and Springboks (Getty Images)
Pace injection: Jack van Poortvliet will hope to keep his starting place against the All Blacks and Springboks (Getty Images)

England racked up seven tries in dispatching Japan 52-13 at Twickenham in Autumn Nations Series action on Saturday.

Eddie Jones’ men hit back in style from last weekend’s 30-29 defeat by Argentina, to put their November campaign back on track ahead of meetings with New Zealand and South Africa.

Nick Purewal rates the England players...


Freddie Steward 9

The Leicester full-back produced a peerless display under the high ball and bolstered England’s attacking game.

Joe Cokanasiga 7

A fine showing from the powerhouse wing who was pressed into late service after Jack Nowell’s injury.

Guy Porter 7

Claimed a try brace in a solid showing from the Leicester centre.

Owen Farrell 8

A much-improved showing from the England captain, who linked well with Smith.

Jonny May 7

Yellow card a blot but an otherwise industrious showing from the fit-again flier.

Marcus Smith 8

Built his partnership with Farrell and showed some deft touches.

Jack van Poortvliet 9

A major improvement to England’s attacking game with pace, precision and panache.


Ellis Genge 8

Dominated at the scrum and carried dangerously around the park.

Luke Cowan-Dickie 8

Bullied Japan at the set-piece in a fine showing.

Kyle Sinckler 8

Played full part in England’s tight dominance in another potent showing.

David Ribbans 7

A very creditable debut from the developing Northampton lock.

Jonny Hill 7

Put himself about well in the first half as England put Japan to the sword.

Maro Itoje 8

Built on last weekend with a sharper and shrewder showing.

Tom Curry 7

Added continuity and impetus to the home side.

Sam Simmonds 8

This was his kind of game and he took full advantage with some fine open-field play.


Jamie George (for Cowan-Dickie, 53) 7

Kept up the pressure when it mattered for the home side.

Mako Vunipola (for Genge, 53) 6

Pinged a couple of times at the scrum before finding his feet.

Joe Heyes (for Sinckler, 66) 7

Ironed out a few kinks at the set-piece as England closed out the game in style.

Alex Coles (for Ribbans, 55) 7

Ensured England were able to see out the game well.

Billy Vunipola (for Hill, 61) 7

Put in a few big hits and carries at the death.

Ben Youngs (for Van Poortvliet, 64) 7

Eased the hosts home for a vital win.

Manu Tuilagi (for Cokanasiga, 64) 7

Put more minutes in the bank to continue his latest injury comeback.

Henry Slade (for Porter, 64) 8

An impressive cameo from the shrewd Exeter centre.