England team to play Argentina: Third place play-off - Ruck

England team to play Argentina: Third place play-off

Head coach Steve Borthwick has named his England team to play Argentina in their Rugby World Cup third-place play-off.

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Fly half Owen Farrell captains a side that sees eight changes from last weekend’s narrow semi-final loss to South Africa.

A new look front row sees vice-captain Ellis Genge return to the starting lineup alongside Theo Dan at hooker and Will Stuart at tighthead. The second row partnership sees Maro Itoje link up with Ollie Chessum.

In the backrow, Sam Underhill is set to make his first appearance of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Tom Curry, who will win his 50th England cap, moves to the blindside with Ben Earl rounding off the scrum at No.8.

Ben Youngs, England men’s most capped player of all time, starts his first game of the tournament at scrum half to win his 127th cap. An unchanged midfield sees Manu Tuilagi and Joe Marchant combine, whilst in the back three, Henry Arundell features on the left wing, with Freddie Steward moving to the right wing and Marcus Smith at full-back.

The replacements are: Jamie George, Bevan Rodd, Dan Cole, David Ribbans, Lewis Ludlam, Danny Care, George Ford and Ollie Lawrence.

Courtney Lawes does not feature after confirming his international retirement earlier this week.

“After the disappointment of last weekend’s game against South Africa, it is important that this Friday we once again play with the determination and dedication that so nearly earned the team the result we wanted.

“The Bronze Final gives us a great opportunity to finish the tournament on a positive note, continue to build for the future, and to give our supporters one last chance to get behind the squad out here in Paris. The players are looking forward to the challenge against what will be a strong Argentina side.

“Our support from the many England fans, both at home and from those who have travelled to France to watch the team play, has been nothing short of fantastic. We are incredibly grateful to have your backing and on behalf of the entire England team I would like to thank you all once again.”

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England team to play Argentina:

15. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 29 caps) 

14. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 30 caps)

13. Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 25 caps)

12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 58 caps)

11. Henry Arundell (Racing 92, 9 caps) 

10. Owen Farrell – captain (Saracens, 111 caps) 

9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 126 caps)

1. Ellis Genge – vice-captain (Bristol Bears, 57 caps)

2. Theo Dan (Saracens, 6 caps)

3. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 32 caps) 

4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 75 caps)

5. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 17 caps)

6. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 49 caps)

7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 29 caps) 

8. Ben Earl (Saracens, 24 caps)


16. Jamie George (Saracens, 84 caps)

17. Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 4 caps) 

18. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 106 caps)

19. David Ribbans (Toulon, 9 caps) 

20. Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 24 caps)

21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 95 caps) 

22. George Ford – vice-captain (Sale Sharks, 90 caps)

23. Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 20 caps)

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#5. Chris Robshaw (England)

The flanker is a former English rugby union player who captained the national team from 2012 to 2015.

Known for his exceptional work rate and leadership skills, Robshaw was a dynamic flanker who made a significant impact on the field. He enjoyed a successful club career with Harlequins, where he played for over a decade. Robshaw’s dedication and commitment to the sport earned him numerous accolades and the respect of his peers.

Off the field, he is admired for his philanthropic efforts, using his platform to support various charitable causes.

Owens said: “Some people will be surprised at this one to start off. His misfortune was perhaps to be leading England during a difficult time, but he always gave everything for the cause, encouraging others to follow suit, and he was a nice guy off the pitch.”


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