England have made four changes for Saturday’s match against Argentina with Tom Wood, George Kruis, Jonny May and Mike Brown returning to the starting 15.
Wood is preferred in the back-row to Teimana Harrison, who drops to the bench, while Kruis returns in the second-row to replace the suspended Joe Launchbury.
May and Brown form a back three with Elliot Daly, who keeps his place in the squad after impressing against Fiji, with Semesa Rokoduguni and Alex Goode dropping out of the matchday 23.
“Tom is a lively, committed player and that is what we are going to need against a big Argentinian pack,” said England coach Eddie Jones.
“George has worked really hard after his injury, he has been a fine player for us centre of the lineout, and with Joe Launchbury’s unfortunate but justified it is a great opportunity for George to find his feet again in the Red Rose.”
Jones continued: “This week we feel those two guys [May and Brown] are best against Argentina.
“Brown is a strong player in the air, he is strong defensively, carries the ball back hard and we are anticipating it is going to be a tough contest. Jonny May has got great finishing skills and we believe that is going to be important against Argentina.”
Kruis is back in the matchday squad having missed the first two matches of the Old Mutual Wealth Series due to ankle surgery while May returns having scored against South Africa but was left out against Fiji last weekend. The same goes for Brown and Wood who started against the Boks but sat out the 58-15 win over Fiji.
England are currently on a 12-match winning run, 11 coming under Jones, and are wary of the threat Argentina pose.
“This game against Argentina is a big step up for us as they were probably the second best team in the Rugby Championship and played some exceptional rugby,” Jones added. “They are a quality team, have power in the forwards, speed and guile in the backs as well as great experience.
“We appreciate they have threats across the field and they have always been a physical, tough side. They still have their set-piece armoury in the scrum and lineouts so we’re looking forward to a great game of rugby against them.
“The set-piece is going to be important. We have worked hard on our scrum and maul this week so they are areas we feel we can get a slight dominance in. We are looking forward to that physical challenge because when you play against the Argentinians it is a challenge.
“It is forwards against forwards, backs against backs. It is a bit of an old fashioned game.”
Mike Brown, Jonny May, Jonathan Joseph, Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Dylan Hartley (captain), Dan Cole, Courtney Lawes, George Kruis, Chris Robshaw, Tom Wood, Billy Vunipola
Replacements: Jamie George, Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler, Charlie Ewels, Teimana Harrison, Danny Care, Ben Te’o, Henry Slade
Source Article from http://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/story/_/id/18127663/tom-wood-george-kruis-start-england-change-four-argentina
Wood and Kruis start as England change four
www.espn.co.uk – RUGBY