Thunderbolt in England, Owen Farrell replacing and Ellis Genge new captain

Thunderbolt in England, Owen Farrell replacing and Ellis Genge new captain

Owen Farrell in training with the XV de la Rose. MATTHEW CHILDS / PANORAMIC

The emblematic opener or English center has been downgraded, Marcus Smith will start on Saturday. The left pillar of Bristol inherits the armband of the XV of the Rose.

Thunderclap before the “Crunch”. before receiving the XV of France on Saturday (5:45 p.m.) at Twickenhamthe new England manager, Steve Borthwick, hit hard by placing the iconic Owen Farrell on the bench. Apart from three games without stakes, Farrell had not been a substitute for an important match since the 2015 World Cup and the opening match against Fiji (George Ford started).

With this strong choice, Steve Borthwick sends the signal that no player is protected, regardless of his experience and his place in the team. This Saturday it will be the young and talented Marcus Smith which will start at the opening against the Blues. Not selected for the first shock preparation course against the Blues in Brighton, the 24-year-old opening half (19 caps) was then recalled to prepare for the “Crunch”, after participating in the Harlequins’ wide success over Exeter (40-5) in the Premiership.

Genge already captain of Borthwick at Leicester

Direct consequence of the downgrading of Farrell (31 years old, 104 selections), it was necessary to appoint a new captain for the XV of the Rose. Borthwick chose rough pillar Ellis Genge (28, 41 caps) to wear the armband. His name had circulated to be the new English captain, after the departure of Eddie Jones and the appointment of the new coach of the Rose.

Borthwick and Genge know each other well for having evolved together in Leicester: the first had made the second the captain of the Tigers who won the title of champion of England last year. Since then, the left pillar has joined the Bristol Bears, where he started between 2013 and 2016.

“Congratulations to Ellis Genge, who will be captaining the team for the first time. Ellis will lead the team with the kind of dedication and mindset that now characterizes this England side.” commented the coach of the Rose in a press release.

In addition, the third line of Stade Toulousain, Jack Willis, was renewed as a starter against an XV of France which has eight of his club teammates at the start of the match (plus two on the bench).

England lineup:

15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 20 caps)
14. Max Malins (Saracens, 17 caps)
13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 54 caps)
12. Ollie Lawrence (Bath, 10 caps)
11. Anthony Watson (Leicester Tigers, 53 caps)
10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 20 caps)
9. Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 10 caps)

1. Ellis Genge (cap) (Bristol Bears, 46 caps)
2. Jamie George (Saracens, 75 caps)
3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 59 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 65 caps)
5. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 8 caps)
6. Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 17 caps)
7. Jack Willis (Stade Toulousain Toulouse, 8 caps)
8. Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 12 caps)

16. Jack Walker (Harlequins, 2 caps)
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 77 caps)
18. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 98 caps)
19. David Ribbans (Northampton Saints, 3 caps)
20. Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, 3 caps)
21. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 3 caps)
22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, 104 caps)
23. Henry Arundell (London Irish, 5 caps)

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