Sign up to our free sport newsletter for all the latest news on everything from cycling to boxing
Sign up to our free sport email for all the latest news
England will name their team to take on minnows Chile this afternoon, ahead of their third match at the Rugby World Cup this weekend.
England have produced a mixed bag at the tournament so far, as a disastrous set of warm-up games were somewhat washed away by a surprisingly impressive win over Argentina in their opener, with a retro drop goal strategy from the boot of George Ford stunning the Pumas in a 27-10 win.
A fairly dismal opening 40 minutes in their second game against Japan followed, as the attack failed to click, and although they pulled away from their opponents late on, it was a largely ugly 34-12 triumph. However, they did secure the four-try bonus point and are in complete control of Group C with nine points from a possible 10.
Underdogs Chile, competing at their first World Cup, now await in the third round of action and Steve Borthwick’s men will be expecting a comfortable victory to all but secure a quarter-final spot with a game to spare. Borthwick is expected to ring the changes as he announces his team for the contest in Lille, with skipper Owen Farrell set to return from his red-card ban at fly half, Marcus Smith to start at full back and Henry Arundell potentially coming in on the wing.
Follow live coverage of the announcement below, while you can get all the Rugby World Cup odds here.
Ireland team news
Ireland coach Andy Farrell has named an unchanged pack with a 5-3 split between forwards and backs on the bench for the crunch Rugby World Cup Pool B clash with South Africa in Paris on Saturday.
Johnny Sexton will lead the team from flyhalf alongside scrumhalf Jamison Gibson-Park, who is the only change from the side that defeated Tonga 59-16 in their previous game.
Mack Hansen and James Lowe will be the two wings, Hugo Keenan is at fullback and Bundee Aki will win a 50th cap at centre as part of a midfield that also includes Garry Ringrose.
The forward pack remains unchanged with Ireland not responding to South Africa’s 7-1 split on the bench and sticking to the gameplan that has seen them win their last 15 tests in a row.
Reuters21 September 2023 15:08
Storti replaces banned Pinto in Portugal team to play Georgia
Portugal have made four changes, one enforced by the two-match ban handed to winger Vincent Pinto, for their second Pool C match against Georgia in Toulouse on Saturday.
Pinto was shown a red card for kicking Wales’s Josh Adams in the head while jumping to catch a high ball in the 28-8 opening loss to the Welsh in Nice.
Raffaele Storti will replace Pinto on the right wing outside Pedro Bettencourt, who comes in for Jose Lima in the centres in the other change to the backline.
Up front, Jose Madeira reclaims his starting spot in the second row from Martim Belo after being a late withdrawal from the Wales match.
Coach Patrice Lagisquet also swapped his starting and finishing tighthead props with Diogo Hasse Ferreira coming into the front row and Anthony Alves dropping to the bench.
Number eight Rafael Simoes retains his place at the back of the pack after having a citing for a dangerous tackle against the Welsh dismissed by the judiciary during the week.
Georgia beat Portugal 38-11 in the Rugby Europe Championship final in March.
Reuters21 September 2023 15:04
Georgia retain World Cup ambitions beyond Portugal match
Georgia coach Levan Maisashvili said the Lelos still have World Cup ambitions beyond beating Portugal in Toulouse on Saturday in a clash between the strongest European teams from outside the Six Nations.
The match has been billed as the battle for fourth place in Pool C behind Wales, Fiji and Australia but Maisashvili said there was plenty still to play for despite Georgia’s opening loss to the Wallabies.
“In a way it is a bit of a final, but it’s also just the beginning,” he told reporters in Toulouse on Thursday.
“We’ve only played one match, even if we lost it. Yes, it’s an important match against Portugal but we’re concentrating on our team.”
Maisashvili was able to recall Lyon loose forward Beka Saghinadze into a starting team featuring eight changes from the side that lost 35-15 to Australia at the Stade de France.
Saghinadze, who missed Georgia’s warm-ups and the Australia game through injury, slots into the back row at openside flanker in place of young gun Luka Ivanishvili, who scored the first of Georgia’s two tries against the Wallabies.
Flyhalf Tedo Abzhandadze and scrumhalf Gela Aprasidze will start in a new halfback partnership with regular playmaker Luka Matkava dropping to the bench.
“We were disappointed after Australia. We weren’t able to manage the game well and made tactical errors on a number of occasions, particularly with our kicking game,” Maisashvili added.
“There was a clear lack of discipline caused by our poor game management. In the second half we were able to get back into the game but couldn’t get the result we wanted.”
Centre Merab Sharikadze will captain the team for the 50th time on Saturday against very familiar opposition, the two teams having met in the final of the second tier Rugby Europe Championship in March.
The Lelos won that match 38-11 to claim a fifth straight title and Sharikadze said they had made improvements to their game since then.
“It’s true that our team have played a lot against Portugal, who have a similar style, but our style of play is much more balanced now,” Sharikadze added.
Reuters21 September 2023 15:02
England set to unleash Marcus Smith experiment against Chile in Rugby World Cup
England are set to to accelerate their experiment of deploying Marcus Smith’s running skills at full-back in Saturday’s World Cup clash with Chile.
Smith has filled the position as a second-half replacement in the last four Tests, adding an extra playmaker to the backline and providing a dynamic counter-attacking threat.
The Harlequins fly-half is now poised to make his first start at 15 as Steve Borthwick takes the opportunity to rotate his squad against the weakest opposition of England’s group campaign.
Owen Farrell has completed his four-match suspension for a dangerous tackle and is ready to make his first appearance since the illegal challenge against Wales on August 12.
Farrell is set to be reinstated at fly-half and resume as captain when Borthwick names his team for the Lille showdown on Thursday evening.
Karl Matchett21 September 2023 14:57
England vs Chile team announcement
Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of England’s team announcement for their Rugby World Cup clash with Chile this weekend.
After two wins from two, England can all but qualify for the quarter-finals with a win over the South American minnows and captain Owen Farrell looks set to return to the starting XV following his ban.