All you need to know ahead of...

England v Tonga

As a statement of intent, Eddie Jones could not have made England's World Cup ambitions any more crystal clear by selecting his strongest available side to face Tonga in Sapporo on Sunday.

Jones, despite having to balance the demands of England playing their first two matches in the space of four days (they face USA in Kobe on Thursday), clearly wants to open the tournament with a powerhouse performance and result that will set the tone for their bid to qualify for the quarter-finals in a pool that also contains France and Argentina.

It will give this opening fixture extra bite and feels like the right call. Worrying about injury implications would have sent out a negative vibe to the squad. Instead England will come out with all their big guns blazing.

England. Photo / Photosport
England. Photo / Photosport

Significantly the George Ford, Owen Farrell and Manu Tuilagi backline combination that was so destructive in the record warm-up victory over Ireland at Twickenham is selected in a bid to neutralise the physical barrage expected from their Pacific Island opponents by moving Tonga around the pitch, probing their wide channels and testing their back three solidity with an aerial attack.

The Kamikaze Kids of Sam Underhill and Tom Curry, who were so destructive as a flanker pairing against Ireland, are also selected in a back row alongside Billy Vunipola.

This has the makings of a ferociously competitive unit and one that will have too much power and pace for Tonga to handle.

- Telegraph UK

Match details: Sunday 22 September 10:15pm, Sapporo Dome, Sapporo

Referee: Paul Williams



Elliot Daly, Anthony Watson, Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell (c), Jonny May, George Ford, Ben Youngs, Joe Marler, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Courtney Lawes, Maro Itoje, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola.


Reserves: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge, Dan Cole, George Kruis, Lewis Ludlam, Willi Heinz, Henry Slade, Jonathan Joseph.

Tonga: David Halaifonua, Atieli Pakalani, Siale Piutau (c), Cooper Vuna, Viliami Lolohea, Kurt Morath, Sonatane Takulua, Maama Vaipulu, Zane Kapeli, Sione Kalamafoni, Halaleva Fifita, Sam Lousi, Ben Tameifuna, Sosefo Sakalia, Siegfried Fisiihoi

Reserves: Siua Maile, Latu Talakai, Ma'afu Fia, Dan Faleafa, Nasi Manu, Leon Fukofuka, James Faiva, Nafi Tu'itavake.

How to watch/stream

The Herald will be live blogging the match, with build-up from 10:00pm, Spark Sport coverage starts at 10:00pm. Kickoff is at 10:15pm




England wins:2
Tonga wins: 0

Last time: England won 36-20 in 2007

Group standings