November Test teams: Underhill, Ashton to start for England

by Staff Writer

Chris Ashton and Sam Underhill are set to start for England against New Zealand after coach Eddie Jones made three changes to his side for Saturday's match against the All Blacks at Twickenham.

Ashton, who ended a four-year England exile when coming off the bench in last week's 12-11 win at home to South Africa, is on the right wing in place of Jack Nowell.

Underhill comes in at openside flanker after an ankle injury ruled out Tom Curry.

Ashton has scored 19 tries for England including one in their last victory over the All Blacks in 2012.

"It's more of an order change," Jones told reporters at England's Bagshot training base on Thursday.

"Jack played exceptionally well for us last week but when you're playing against New Zealand the 80 minutes are important.

"Jack has got an incredible work rate so we feel he'll be enormously valuable for us in the last 20 minutes.

"Chris can sniff a try from anywhere. To beat New Zealand you have got to score tries," the Australian added.

"He's in good form and has looked sharp, so we've given him the nod to start."

>But there was no place in the matchday 23 for Manu Tuilagi, who had arguably his best England game against the All Blacks six years ago, despite the centre's recovery from the groin strain that ruled him out against the Springboks.

"Manu is just not quite right. He's nearly there and we feel like he'll be of enormous value to us in the future," said Jones.

"Rather than take any risks with him we're being quite conservative in his management.

"He's at 99.9999 percent but he's just not quite right so we're going to see if we get him 100 percent right."

Jones made one other change when announcing his starting XV on Thursday, with Ben Moon named at loosehead prop for what will be England's first match against world champions New Zealand in four years.

Courtney Lawes returned to the bench following a lower back problem, with Zach Mercer dropping out of the squad.

TEAMS

England to face New Zealand

Twickenham, London, Saturday November 10, 3pm local, Sunday 2am AEDT, LIVE on beIN SPORT.

IN: Sam Underhill, Courtney Lawes

OUT: Zach Mercer, Tom Curry

1. Ben Moon

2. Dylan Hartley

3. Kyle Sinckler

4. Maro Itoje

5. George Kruis

6. Brad Shields

7. Sam Underhill

8. Mark Wilson

9. Ben Youngs

10. Owen Farrell

11. Jonny May

12. Ben Te'o

13. Henry Slade

14. Chris Ashton

15. Elliot Daly

Reserves

16. Jamie George

17. Alec Hepburn

18. Harry Williams

19. Charlie Ewels

20. Courtney Lawes

21. Danny Care

22. George Ford

23. Jack Nowell

New Zealand to face England

The All Blacks named their team to face England on Thursday morning, with Damian McKenzie starting at 15.

See the full team here.

IRELAND vs ARGENTINA

Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Saturday November 10, 6:30pm local, Sunday 5:30am AEDT

Six Nations Grand Slam winning captain Rory Best and injury-prone flanker Sean O'Brien earned recalls from head coach Joe Schmidt to Ireland's starting XV for Saturday's one-off Test with Argentina.

Grizzled hooker Best, 36, returns after missing the 2-1 Test series win in Australia with a hamstring problem whilst O'Brien sat out both the Six Nations and the tour with hip and shoulder injuries respectively.

Despite Luke McGrath impressing in the 54-7 victory over Italy in Chicago last Saturday it is the more experienced Kieran Marmion who starts at scrum-half alongside star fly-half Jonathan Sexton, whose regular half-back partner Conor Murray has not been selected as a neck injury has prevented him from playing this season.

With an eye on the mouth-watering clash with world champions New Zealand on Saturday week, Schmidt has restored most of the team that clinched the Grand Slam at Twickenham earlier this year although fullback Rob Kearney is absent because of a shoulder injury.

Jordan Larmour retains the starting spot in that position after a barn-storming, three-try performance against the Italians.

The hosts will be looking for a confidence-boosting victory ahead of the All Blacks clash over a Pumas side that has emerged from The Rugby Championship with two victories -- including their first in Australia since 1983.

The Pumas have proved thorns in Ireland's side on several occasions in the World Cup -- most recently in the 2015 quarter-finals -- although they came out on the wrong side of a 28-19 defeat at Lansdowne Road in November last year.

TEAMS

Ireland to face Argentina

IN: Cian Healy, Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, James Ryan, Peter O'Mahony, Sean O'Brien, CJ Stander, Kieran Marmion, Johnny Sexton, Robbie Henshaw, Keith Earls, Dan LEavy

OUT: Niall Scannell, Tadhg Beirne, Quinn Roux, Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan, Garry Ringrose, Dave Kilcoyne, Finlay Bealham, Jordi Murphy, John Cooney, Ross Byrne, Will Addison

1. Cian Healy

2. Rory Best

3. Tadhg Furlong

4. Iain Henderson

5. James Ryan

6. Peter O'Mahony

7. Sean O'Brien

8. CJ Stander

9. Kieran Marmion

10. Jonathan Sexton

11. Jacob Stockdale

12. Bundee Aki

13. Robbie Henshaw

14. Keith Earls

15. Jordan Larmour

Reserves

16. Sean Cronin

17. Jack McGrath

18. Andrew Porter

19. Devin Toner

20. Dan Leavy

21. Luke McGrath

22. Joey Carbery

23. Andrew Conway

Argentina to face Ireland

IN: N/A

OUT: N/A

1. Santiago Garcia Botta

2. Agustin Creevy

3. Santiago Medrano

4. Matias Alemanno

5. Tomas Lavanini

6. Pablo Matera

7. Guido Petti

8. Javier Ortega Desio

9. Tomas Cubelli

10. Nicolas Sanchez

11. Ramiro Moyano

12. Jeronimo de la Fuente

13. Matias Orlando

14. Bautista Delguy

15. Emiliano Boffelli

Reserves

16. Julian Montoya

17. Juan Pablo Zeiss

18. Lucio Sordoni

19. Rodrigo Bruni

20. Tomas Lazana

21. Gonzalo Bertranou

22. Joaquin Diaz Bonilla

23. Matias Moroni

FRANCE vs SOUTH AFRICA

Stade de France, Paris, Saturday November 10, 9:05pm local, Sunday 7:05am AEDT

France coach Jacques Brunel confirmed predictions of two surprise selections by naming Arthur Iturria at flanker and Clermont teammate Damian Penaud on the left wing for their Test against South Africa in Paris on Saturday.

Iturria, 24, has played at lock in all three of his previous France games but has been pulled back a notch by Brunel following a recent switch of position at his Top 14 club.

Iturria's last cap for France came against Scotland at the Six Nations last February, when he was one of several partygoers from the France team sidelined from the squad.

The 22-year-old Penaud will make his first France appearance since playing against Japan in November 2017. In his previous five appearances he played at centre but, having played five of his seven Top 14 matches so far this season on the wing, will follow suit against South Africa.

His inclusion comes in spite of some fine performances at centre this season from Stade Francais' Gael Fickou, who has often played on the wing for France.

South African lock forward Eben Etzebeth will miss Saturday's one-off Test against France after failing to recover from an ankle injury.

Etzebeth will be replaced by Franco Mostert, one of three changes announced by coach Rassie Erasmus to the side that lost 12-11 in controversial fashion at Twickenham.

Fullback Willie le Roux and scrumhalf Faf de Klerk also come into the starting XV in place of Damian Willemse and Ivan van Zyl.

Etzebeth was injured during the defeat at Twickenham and initially ruled out of the Paris game only for Erasmus to raise the possibility on Monday that the 27-year-old may be fit after all.

In the end, the Bok coach erred on the side of caution.

"We believe it would be better not to rush Eben back as we still have two Tests left on the tour after the match against France'" said Erasmus.

Like new Gloucester recruit Mostert, Le Roux and de Klerk were not at Twickenham as the match fell outside the recognised international window and they were retained by their English clubs.

"I thought Damian and Ivan did very well last week against England but you need as much experience as possible playing away from home," said Erasmus.

Toulouse flanker Cheslin Kolbe, Saracens prop Vincent Koch and Bath backrower Francois Louw, all of whom were withheld by their clubs last weekend, come on to the bench. 

TEAMS

France to face South Africa

1. Jefferson Poirot

2. Guilhem Guirado

3. Cedate Gomes Sa

4. Sebastien Vahaamahina

5. Yoann Maestri

6. Wenceslas Lauret

7. Louis Picamoles

8. Arthur Iturria

9. Baptiste Serin

10. Camille Lopez

11. Damian Penaud

12. Geoffrey Doumayrou

13. Mathieu Basteraud

14. Teddy Thomas

15. Maxime Medard

Reserves

16. Camille Chat

17. Danny Priso

18. Rabah Slimani

19. Paul Grabrillagues

20. Mathieu Babillot

21. Antoine Dupont

22. Anthony Belleau

23. Gael Fickou

South Africa to face France

IN: Franco Mostert, Faf de Klerk, Willie le Roux, Vincent Koch, Francois Louw, Cheslin Kolbe

OUT: Eben Etzebeth, Ivan van Zyl, Damian Willemse, Wilco Louw, Lood de Jager, Andre Esterhuizen

1. Steven Kitshoff (DHL Western Province, 34, 5 - 1t)

2. Malcolm Marx (Xerox Golden Lions, 21, 20 - 4t)

3. Frans Malherbe (DHL Western Province, 26, 0)

4. Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Western Province, 43, 20 - 4t)

5. Franco Mostert (Gloucester, England, 26, 5 - 1t)

6. Siya Kolisi (captain, DHL Western Province, 38, 25 - 5t)

7. Duane Vermeulen (Unattached, 43, 15 - 3t)

8. Warren Whiteley (Xerox Golden Lions, 22, 15 - 3t)

9. Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England, 20, 15 - 3t)

10. Handré Pollard (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 36, 299 - 3t, 55c, 55p, 3d)

11. Aphiwe Dyantyi (Xerox Golden Lions, 10, 30 - 6t)

12. Damian de Allende (DHL Western Province, 34, 20 - 4t)

13. Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 37, 50 - 10t)

14. Sbu Nkosi (Cell C Sharks , 4, 15 - 3t)

15. Willie le Roux (Wasps, England, 50, 60 - 12t)

Reserves

16. Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Western Province, 23, 10 - 2t)

17. Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks, 6, 0)

18. Vincent Koch (Saracens, England, 10, 0)

19. RG Snyman (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 9, 0)

20. Francois Louw (Bath Rugby, England, 62, 45 - 9t)

21. Embrose Papier (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 5, 0)

22. Elton Jantjies (Xerox Golden Lions, 30, 223 - 2t, 42c, 43p)

23. Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, France, 4, 10 - 2t)

SCOTLAND vs FIJI

Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Saturday November 10, 2:30pm local, Sunday 1:30am AEDT

Stuart Hogg has completed a remarkable recovery from ankle surgery to be named in the Scotland starting line-up to face Fiji on Saturday.

The Glasgow back has not played since damaging ligaments in the Warriors' clash with Munster in September.

It was feared he would sit out the entire autumn series after he was initially ruled out for 10 to 12 weeks.

However, head coach Gregor Townsend has decided to throw him straight back into action after naming a much-changed side to take on the Pacific Islanders at Murrayfield following last weekend's defeat to Wales.

Hogg's return is one of nine changes to the team which suffered a 21-10 defeat in Cardiff, with scrum-half Greig Laidlaw back to skipper the side and Racing 92 star stand-off Finn Russell also recalled.

TEAMS

Scotland to face Fiji

IN: Sam Skinner, Greig Laidlaw, Finn Russell, Sean Maitland, Stuart Hogg, Josh Strauss, Chris Harris

OUT: Ben Toolis, Ali Price, Lee Jones, Huw Jones, Hamish Watson, Blair Kinghorn, Darcy Graham

1. Allan Dell

2. Fraser Brown

3. WP Nel

4. Sam Skinner

5. Grant Gilchrist

6. Ryan Wilson

7. Jamie Ritchie

8. Matt Fagerson

9. Greig Laidlaw

10. Finn Russell

11. Sean Maitland

12. Pete Horne

13. Alex Dunbar

14. Tommy Seymour

15. Stuart Hogg

Reserves

16. Stuart McInally

17. Alex Allan

18. Simon Berghan

19. Jonny Gray

20. Josh Strauss

21. George Horne

22. Adam Hastings

23. Chris Harris

Fiji to face Scotland

IN: N/A

OUT: N/A

1. Campese Ma'afu

2. Samuel Matavesi

3. Manasa Saulo

4. Tevita Cavubati

5. Leone Nakawara

6. Dominiko Waqaniburotu

7. Peceli Yato

8. Villame Mata

9. Frank Lomani

10. Ben Volavola

11. Vereniki Goneva

12. Jale Vatubua

13. Semi Radradra

14. Metuisela Talebula

15. Setariki Tuicuvu

Reserves

16. Mesulame Dolokoto

17. Eroni Mawi

18. Kalivati Tawake

19. Albert Tuisue

20. Semi Kunatani

21. Henry Seniloli

22. Aliferti Veitokani

23. Eroni Vasiteri

ITALY vs GEORGIA

TEAMS

Italy to face Georgia

IN: Andrea Lovotti, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Simone Ferrari, Alessandro Zanni, Dean Budd, Sebastian Negri,Jake Polledri, Tommaso Castello, Luca Bigi, Tiziano Pasquali

OUT: Nicola Quaglio, George Biagi, Renato Giammarioli, Giulio Bisegni, Oliviero Fabiani, Giousue Zilocchi, Federico Ruzza, Marco Lazzaroni, Jimmy Tuivalti, Ian McKinley

1. Andrea Lovotti (Zebre Rugby Club, 27 Caps)*

2. Leonardo Ghiraldini (Stade Toulousian, 96 Caps) – Capitano

3. Simone Ferrari (Benetton Rugby, 14 Caps)

4. Alessandro Zanni (Benetton Rugby, 106 Caps)

5. Dean Budd (Benetton Rugby, 13 Caps)

6. Sebastian Negri (Benetton Rugby, 9 Caps)

7. Jake Polledri (Gloucester Rugby, 3 Caps)

8. Abraham Jurgens Steyn (Benetton Rugby, 22 Caps)

9. Tito Tebaldi (Benetton Rugby, 26 Caps)

10. Tommaso Allan (Benetton Rugby, 40 Caps)

11. Mattia Bellini (Zebre Rugby Club, 15 Caps)*

12. Tommaso Castello (Zebre Rugby Club, 12 Caps)

13. Michele Campagnaro (Svincolato, 35 Caps)*

14. Tommaso Benvenuti (Benetton Rugby, 52 Caps)*

15. Luca Sperandio (Benetton Rugby, 3 Caps)*

Reserves

16. Luca Bigi (Benetton Rugby, 12 Caps)

17. Cherif Traore (Benetton Rugby, 2 Caps)*

18. Tiziano Pasquali (Benetton Rugby, 10 Caps)

19. Marco Fuser (Benetton Rugby, 30 Caps)*

20. Johan Meyer (Zebre Rugby Club, 1 Cap)

21. Guglielmo Palazzani (Zebre Rugby Club, 25 Caps)

22. Carlo Canna (Zebre Rugby Club, 30 Caps)

23. Luca Morisi (Benetton Rugby, 17 Caps)*

Georgia to face Italy

1. Mikheil Nariashvili

2. Jaba Bregvadze

3. Dudu Kubriashvili

4. Nodar Tcheishvili

5. Lasha Lomidze

6. Otar Giorgadze

7. Giorgi Tsutskiridze

8. Beka Gorgadze

9. Vasil Lobzhanidze

10. Lasha Khmaladze

11. Zurab Dzneladze

12. Tamaz Mtchedlidze

13. Merab Sharikadze

14. Giordi Koshadze

15. Soso Matiashvili

Reserves

16. Shalva Mamukashvili

17. Zurab Zhvania

18. Levan Chilachava

19. Shalva Sutiashvili

20. Beka Bitsadze

21. Gela Aprasidze

22. Lasha malaghuradze

23. Giorgi Kveladze