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(Rugby/Free)England vs Ireland Live Stream Autumn Nations Cup

England and Ireland meet in the Autumn Nations Cup this afternoon at Twickenham (3pm), both looking to build on wins in the opening round. Eddie Jones’s men have had the upper hand in the fixture in recent times and go into the match as reigning Six Nations champions.

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Issues for both teams, around matters of style and substance. So as ever there’s plenty at stake when England and Ireland square up at Twickenham on Saturday in round two of the Autumn Nations Cup (kick-off 3pm).

Ireland are six games into life under Andy Farrell. They have beaten Scotland, Italy and Wales (twice), yet fallen well short against England and France. Doubts have been raised over their ability to go toe to toe with the more physical sides.

Bernard Jackman certainly sees it that way. Speaking to RW shortly after Leinster’s recent Champions Cup defeat by Saracens, the former Ireland hooker said: “England came to the Aviva at the start of the 2019 Six Nations and absolutely rocked Ireland (32-20).

“In the 2019 European final, Saracens’ power game was too strong for Leinster. Then there was the World Cup warm-up at Twickenham, a hammering (57-15) that left a psychological mark on Ireland in Japan.

“Ireland went to England in this year’s Six Nations and again it’s pretty demoralising how the game unfolded (24-12). And now Leinster have been outplayed badly at the set-piece and breakdown by a Saracens side missing a lot of players.

“It’s a huge blow to Leinster and to Ireland, because Leinster produce the most players for Ireland (nine in Saturday’s starting XV). There’s going to be that nagging doubt that when we come up against England or France, physically powerful teams, are we able to compete?”

Farrell’s team selection (see team news below) reflects a desire to match fire with fire, most notably with the omission of a specialist openside.

England have won five on the bounce since losing in Paris at the start of the year, a run that coincided with a third Six Nations title under Eddie Jones.

However, few were impressed by the somewhat colourless nature of their 40-0 defeat of Georgia last weekend. And that includes Georgia’s head coach Levan Maisashvili, who took a swipe at Jones and Co when saying that Wales (their next opponents) “have way more options in attack compared to England”.
England v Georgia scrum

Graft in the rain: Will Stuart, Jamie George and Ellis Genge scrum down against Georgia (Getty Images)

So less bludgeon and more rapier from England this week? Don’t bet on it. Jones loves being able to bully teams up front and is happy to favour prosaic over romantic rugby if it brings him results. And can you blame him?

With both sides having won their opening ANC game, this match should decide who will make the final from Pool A in early December. Fiji’s non participation because of Covid has harmed the tournament, so there is even more reason than usual to hope England and Ireland can serve up something memorable.

What’s the big team news?

After the comfortable outing against Georgia, England revert to a more established line-up, changing half their pack. Mako Vunipola and Kyle Sinckler swap in for Ellis Genge and Will Stuart at prop, while Tom Curry and Sam Underhill reprise their familiar back-row unit in tandem with Billy Vunipola.

Jack Willis drops out of the match 23 while Maro Itoje switches back to the engine room alongside Joe Launchbury. Exeter’s Jonny Hill, who made his debut against Italy on Six Nations Super Saturday, pips Bath captain Charlie Ewels to the role of replacement lock.

Also on the bench is George Ford, in line for his first Test appearance since the win against Wales eight months ago. The Tigers fly-half has spent more than 20 hours in an oxygen chamber to quicken his recover from an Achilles tendon problem.

Related content: Ford scores against Ireland after fumble

With Ford being eased back, Ollie Lawrence gets another start in midfield – a first opportunity to show he can deliver against really top-class opponents.
England rugby training

Having fun: Max Malins (left) and Ollie Lawrence enjoying England training this week (AFP/Getty Images)

Ireland have made four changes from the side that beat Wales, two of them enforced.

Johnny Sexton (hamstring) and Robbie Henshaw (abductor) are injured, so fly-half Ross Byrne gets only his second Test start – his first was at the same ground in that RWC 2019 warm-up. Bundee Aki replaces Henshaw in a robust-looking Irish midfield.

Keith Earls, fit again after a back injury, replaces Munster team-mate Andrew Conway for his first Test start since the World Cup. And the selection of major ball-carrier CJ Stander in the back row, ahead of Will Connors and last week’s pick Josh van der Flier, underlines Ireland’s intent to match England’s renowned physicality.

Jamison Gibson Park retains the No 9 jersey ahead of Conor Murray. And Ulster duo Jacob Stockdale and Iain Henderson, who were both late withdrawals from the match against Wales, are named on the bench.

What have the coaches said?

England head coach Eddie Jones: “I’ve picked the strongest team possible for the most important game of our season. We have the highest respect for Ireland and their coach Andy Farrell. They’ve had good preparation with two wins and a dominant display against Wales, and we will need to be at our best.
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell: “There’s a reason why teams can be physical. Teams that are physical tend to have a flow to their game, playing in the right parts of the field.

On new captain James Ryan: “I’ve seen a curiosity in James over the last nine months of him maturing regarding his leadership. Over the last couple of years everyone’s talked about James being a potential leader for this team.