England vs Georgia team news: Jack Willis to make debut as Ollie Lawrence and Will Stuart start Autumn Nations Cup clash


Wasps flanker Jack Willis will make his England debut this weekend after being selected to start the Autumn Nations Cup opener against Georgia, with Eddie Jones making seven personnel changes from the side that clinched the Six Nations title two weeks’ ago.

Willis is rewarded for a breakthrough Premiership season with his first cap in the back-row, where he is joined by Maro Itoje as the Saracens forward switches from lock to blindside flanker in place of Tom Curry, with club teammate Billy Vunipola retained at No 8.

Prop Will Stuart and centre Ollie Lawrence are also set to make their first starts for England, while Max Malins could win his first cap after being named among the replacements.

Ellis Genge will win his 20th cap as he replaces Mako Vunipola at loosehead prop in what will be the Leicester forward’s seventh international start, while Jones has elected to rotate both props as Stuart replaces Kyle Sinckler in what will be the tighthead’s first inclusion in a starting XV. Jamie George is retained at hooker, meaning Tom Dunn must wait for his first England start after making his debut off the bench in Rome last month.

Joe Launchbury fills the void left by Itoje’s switch in the second row to join Charlie Ewels, while captain Owen Farrell will continue to lead the side at fly-half alongside centurion Ben Youngs, who wins his 101st cap.

LIVE: Eddie Jones press conference after naming England team

Henry Slade is retained outside Farrell but is joined by Lawrence, with the Worcester Warriors centre winning his first start after making his debut two weeks’ ago, with Jonathan Joseph moved out to the wing – a position he successfully filled against Ireland during the Six Nations in March. The Bath back is joined by Jonny May and a fit-again Elliot Daly in the back three, with the latter replacing George Furbank.

Despite teasing a potential line-up with nine forwards, Jones has elected against deploying Ben Earl in the back line, though the Bristol Bears back row is among the replacements once more where he’s joined by Curry as Jones elects to go without a recognised second-row replacement, given Itoje’s presence in the starting line-up. They’re joined by a strong front-row contingent of Vunipola, Dunn and Sinckler, while Bristol utility back Max Malins is set for his first appearance after being named alongside Dan Robson and Joe Marchant.

“We’ve had a really good week of training,” Jones said. “We know there are a lot of expectations on us and we’ve applied ourselves hard and put a lot of pressure on ourselves in the early part of this week.

“Georgia will be a tough opponent, so we have a team with some real power in midfield. We have a good mix of youth and experience across the squad and they are completely focused on putting in an excellent performance on Saturday.

“We’re looking forward to being back at our home at Twickenham, we are humbled by the opportunity and want to give people a reason to smile during such a tough time for the country.”

England team to face Georgia

Elliot Daly; Jonathan Joseph, Ollie Lawrence, Henry Slade, Jonny May; Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs; Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Will Stuart; Charlie Ewels, Joe Launchbury; Maro Itoje, Jack Willis, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Tom Dunn, Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler, Ben Earl, Tom Curry, Dan Robson, Max Malins, Joe Marchant.

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