Rugby

Slade to start at inside centre for England against Argentina at Twickenham

PLYMOUTH rugby star Henry Slade will line-up at inside centre for England against Argentina at Twickenham on Saturday.

The versatile Exeter Chiefs back will earn his eighth cap for his country.

England coach Eddie Jones says he is excited to see the Devonian play at 12 against a talented Pumas side.

“Sladey has impressed us at 13, but he’s got an opportunity at 12, where he’s got the distribution skills, got the defensive capabilities and got the speed and pace to trouble sides,” said Jones. “We are excited about that.

“JJ (Jonathan Joseph) is a back in the team at 13. He’s done really well for Bath and come back with a great energy and commitment, so those two together (in the centre) is quite exciting.”

Jones added: “This is our best 23 selected in what is our most important game this year. We know that Argentina is a strong team – Rugby World Cup semi-finalists in 2015 – and we will have to be smart and play well to beat them.”

As well as Slade, another two ex-Plymouth Albion players, Ellis Genge and Sam Simmonds are named among the replacements for Saturday’s game. Simmonds, who is in line for his international debut, was not initially included in the squad but was added as a replacement for Tom Curry.

England have opted to rest Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje for Saturday’s match.

Meanwhile, former Albion boss Graham Dawe has been in the England camp this week.

Dawe was spotted with the England coaches at their joint scrumming session with Wales in Bristol.

The former England hooker has done work with the England squad before under Jones.

England: 15 Mike Brown (Harlequins 62 caps), 14 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby 26 caps), 13 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby 33 caps), 12 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs 7 caps), 11 Elliot Daly (Wasps 13 caps), 10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers 37 caps), 9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers 70 caps), 1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens 42 caps), 2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints 86 caps) captain, 3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers 74 caps), 4 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints 58 caps), 5 George Kruis (Saracens 20 caps), 6 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins 56 caps), 7 Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby 1 cap), 8 Nathan Hughes (Wasps 10 caps).

Replacements: 16 Jamie George (Saracens 17 caps), 17 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers 3 caps), 18 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs 2 caps), 19 Joe Launchbury (Wasps 44 caps), 20 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks 1 cap), 21 Danny Care (Harlequins 73 caps), 22 Alex Lozowski (Saracens 2 caps), 23 Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby 2 caps).

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