Owen Farrell to captain England against Argentina in autumn opener

Farrell last captained England a year ago  (Getty Images)
Farrell last captained England a year ago (Getty Images)

Owen Farrell will captain England for their Autumn Nations Series opener against Argentina at Twickenham on Sunday, it has been confirmed.

Farrell, who last captained the side a year ago, will lead from inside centre with Marcus Smith, at fly-half, and Manu Tuilagi, at outside centre, either side of him.

With Farrell having completed the return to play protocols for concussion in time to return it is the first time the midfield trio have been selected together.

Vice-captain Jack Nowell is named on the right wing with Joe Cokanasiga on the opposite flank and Freddie Steward at full back.

Alex Coles will make his England debut at lock, with Jonny Hill alongside. Vice-captain Ellis Genge and Kyle Sinckler join hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie in the front row.

Maro Itoje and Tom Curry are named as flankers and Billy Vunipola is No 8.

David Ribbans is also in line to make his England debut after being named on the replacement’s bench, alongside Jack Singleton who could make his first international appearance since 2019.

Mako Vunipola, Joe Heyes, Sam Simmonds, Jack Willis, Jack van Poortvliet and Henry Slade complete the 23.

Head coach Eddie Jones said: “It’s been a really good week of preparation and I’ve been very pleased with the squad’s attitude.

“They’ve shown real work ethic and a determination to improve and our leaders, Owen, Ellis and Jack have really lifted the team.

“We’re looking forward to a great game of rugby at a full Twickenham Stadium against a very good Argentina side. It’s been a tough time for rugby lately and we hope that these autumn games show just what a special game it is.”

England team to play Argentina:

F Steward (Leicester Tigers); J Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), M Tuilagi (Sale Sharks), O Farrell (Saracens, captain), J Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), M Smith (Harlequins), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers); E Genge (Bristol Bears), L Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), K Sinckler (Bristol Bears), A Coles (Northampton Saints), J Hill (Sale Sharks), M Itoje (Saracens), T Curry (Sale Sharks), B Vunipola (Saracens).

Replacements: J Singleton (Gloucester Rugby), M Vunipola (Saracens), J Heyes (Leicester Tigers), D Ribbans (Northampton Saints), S Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs), J Willis (unattached), J van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers), H Slade (Exeter Chiefs).