Ben Earl played a very different position against Japan, it didn't go well - Ruck

Ben Earl played a very different position against Japan, it didn’t go well

Years after former England coach Eddie Jones suggested the idea of playing England No 8 Ben Earl in the back line, Steve Borthwick finally put the theory into practice against Japan in Tokyo.

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The men in white kick off their two-match series with the All Blacks in Dunedin on Saturday, 6 July, before heading back to Auckland the next weekend.

The Telegraph provided an in-depth analysis of England’s new lineup, which saw Ollie Lawrence move to outside-centre to make room for Ben Earl in the number 12 position.

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The revamped lineup had a rocky start, conceding two tries within three minutes. However, they soon showed promise in the closing stages of the game.

Read their full analysis of the position switch here.

How England finished the game against Japan:

Full-back: George Furbank (15)
Right wing: Tom Roebuck (23)
Outside centre: Ollie Lawrence (12)
Inside centre: Ben Earl (8)
Left wing: Henry Slade (13)
Fly-half: Fin Smith (22)
Scrum-half: Harry Randall (21)
Loosehead prop: Joe Marler (17)
Hooker: Theo Dan (16)
Tighthead prop: Will Stuart (18)
Lock: Charlie Ewels (19)
Lock: George Martin (5)
Blindside flanker: Maro Itoje (4)
Openside flanker: Sam Underhill (7)
No 8: Tom Curry (20)

Five England players who flopped and who should replace them for All Blacks clash

England kicked off their summer tour with a confident display, outplaying Eddie Jones’ side in the sweltering Tokyo heat. While Smith’s performance was a clear highlight, the match wasn’t without its disappointments.

Below, we spotlight five players who struggled to make an impact in the challenging conditions.

#1. Charlie Ewels

RUCK 5/10: “On at the 65 minute mark, yet was immediately under his own posts as Japan crossed for their first try. Solid work at the set-piece, as despite leaking a couple of tries England kept their strength in attack. Dangerous clear out on Michael Leitch at 72 minutes, as he dove at the captain’s legs. Shown a yellow card (and off-field review) as England finished the match with 14 men. The off-field review upgraded the offence to a red card for the Bath man, no mitigation and a high degree of danger.”

Express 2/10: “The forward came off the bench for England in the 66th minute and was sent off just eight minutes later for dangerous play, taking out Michael Leitch.”

Rugby Pass 0/10: ” it was a nightmare for England’s fifth forward replacement as Ewels (0), a 66th-minute sub for Freeman, was yellow carded seven minutes later for a dangerous clear-out on Michael Leitch.”

Replacement: Alex Coles