England rests Farrell, Itoje for Argentina

AFP
The Australian had previously indicated he would rest players who had been involved in the British and Irish Lions grueling 1-1 drawn series in New Zealand earlier this year.
AFP
Reuters

England head coach Eddie Jones (center) takes part in a training session in Bagshot, southwest of London on November 9, 2017, ahead of the autumn international rugby union match against Argentina on November 11, 2017.

England coach Eddie Jones left out both inside center Owen Farrell and lock Maro Itoje when he named his side on Thursday for this weekend's November international opener against Argentina at Twickenham.

The Australian had previously indicated he would rest players who had been involved in the British and Irish Lions grueling 1-1 drawn series in New Zealand earlier this year and the former Wallaby and Japan boss backed up those words by leaving Itoje and Farrell out of his matchday 23 for Saturday's fixture with the Pumas.

Instead Exeter's Henry Slade starts at inside center, with George Kruis and Courtney Lawes the second-row duo.

On the wings, Jones has opted for Elliot Daly and Anthony Watson.

Daly was set to miss England's opening two November tests against Argentina and Australia with knee ligament damage but has made a quicker than expected recovery while Leicester flyer Jonny May has been ruled out from facing the Pumas with a hamstring strain.

Sam Underhill starts at openside flanker, with Tom Curry among a list of replacements that includes lock Joe Launchbury.

Jamie George started all three tests for the Lions but once again the hooker is on the England bench behind captain Dylan Hartley.

"This is our best 23 selected in what is our most important game this year," Jones said.

"We know that Argentina are a strong team — they were World Cup semifinalists in 2015 — and we will have to be smart and play well to beat them," he added.

Saturday's match will be the fourth time England has faced Argentina since November last year, with the Red Rose winning all three of their previous encounters against the Pumas under Jones, including a 2-0 series win for a side weakened by Lions calls in Argentina in June.

"As a squad we have been preparing for this game since our first camp in August and are excited about playing in front of 82,000 fans at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday," said Jones.

England plays Australia at Twickenham the following Saturday before rounding off its end-of-year campaign against cash-strapped Samoa on November 25.


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