England face Tonga in the first of their Autumn Nation series. They came fifth in this year’s Six Nations
Eddie Jones’s England will be hoping to show a good account of themselves following a disappointing fifth placed finish at the Six Nations earlier this year.
England had two wins in their five games but suffered heavy defeats to Ireland and Wales as well as a closely fought battle against Scotland.
The squad came back in July to take on the United States and Canada which went some way to restoring confidence that had previously been lost during the Six Nations.
Now England will hope to go further in proving their status as one of the leading nations in rugby when they begin their Autumn International campaign against Tonga this weekend.
The three previous meetings between England and Tonga all happened at World Cups with England maintaining a 100% win record, and the most recent fixture between the two sides saw England triumph 35-3 over Tonga.
Here is all you need to know about the upcoming England v Tonga fixture...
When is England v Tonga?
England will play Tonga on Saturday 6 November 2021.
Where will the England v Tonga match be played?
Tonga will travel to Twickenham Stadium to play England on Saturday.
What time will the match be played?
The match is due to kick off at 3.15pm BST.
How to watch England v Tonga
The matches will be available to watch on Amazon Prime Video. The first month is free, after which the subscription fee starts at £7.99/month.
Sky Sports will also offer video highlights of the match.
England’s Squad against Tonga
Eddie Jones has announced his team for England’s first Autumn nation Test match against Tonga.
Owen Farrell will captain his side at fly half with Tom Curry (No8), Ellis Genge (loose-head prop) and Courtney Lawes (blind-side flanker) all named as vice-captains for the Autumn Nation series.
England XI starters:
- 15. Freddie Steward
- 14. Adam Radwan
- 13. Henry Slade
- 12 Manu Tuilagi
- 11 Jonny May
- 10 Owen Farrell (c)
- 9 Ben Youngs
- 1 Ellis Genge
- 2 Jamie George
- 3 Kyle Sinckler
- 4 Maro Itoje
- 5 Jonny Hill
- 6 Courtney Lawes
- 7 Sam Underhill
- 8 Tom Curry
- 16 Jamie Blamire
- 17 Joe Marler
- 18 Will Stuart
- 19 Charlie Ewels
- 20 Alex Dombrandt
- 21 Alex Mitchell
- 22 Marcus Smith
- 23 George Furbank
What is the England v Tonga team news?
Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith looked in doubt to play on Saturday due to a leg injury he sustained recently but has been listed as a Finisher for the match
With the absence of George Ford from the squad, it was likely that 22-year-old Smith would have taken on Ford’s role but it awaits to be seen whether his injury will allow him.
He has been restricted to minimal training and the coaching team have remained cautious with him, hoping that he will be able to knock off the injury before Saturday.
Eddie Jones, the England head coach, has spoken of his keenness for Smith and England Captain Owen Farrel to form a 10-12 partnership.
It is unfortunately not just Smith who has been causing injury issues for Jones. Max Malins continues his rehabilitation on an injury he picked up at his club, Saracens.
It had seemed unlikely that Freddie Steward would have been picked due to injury but it would appear he has been deemed fit enough to start against Tonga on Saturday.
Tonga’s Malakai Fekitoa would have made his international debut for his new nation this weekend had it not been for a shoulder injury.
Fekitoa made his test debut seven years ago against England but for New Zealand. He has 24 caps for the All Blacks but has recently switched his nation to the county in which he was born and raised.
Country switches are not easy but if a player is eligible for a second country and hasn’t played international rugby for three years, they can apply to play for that second nation in an Olympic sevens event.
If approved and picked, the player can then fully switch in all formats of the game, including tests.
However, due to an injury sustained recently, Fekitoa must wait slightly longer before playing for his new country.
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