Sunday , 24 September 2023
Rugby World Cup LIVE: England v Japan build-up, team news and latest updates

Rugby World Cup LIVE: England v Japan build-up, team news and latest updates


England will look to build on their encouraging opening weekend win in the Rugby World Cup as they take on Japan this evening.

Having had a dismal warm-up period to the tournament, Steve Borthwick’s side responded superbly after losing Tom Curry to an early red card as George Ford’s kicking masterclass saw them impressively eke out a 27-10 victory over Argentina in Marseille. Victory here against Japan would see England take a huge step towards securing a spot in the tournament’s knockout stages.

Japan, however, will provide a stern test having picked up a comprehensive 42-12 victory against Chile last weekend, with Jamie Joseph’s side looking to pull off an upset to put them in a fantastic position heading into the final few rounds of the group stages.

Get all the Rugby World Cup odds here.


England vs Japan talking points

Defence coach Sinfield has compared Japan’s tactics to the ‘Tika Taka’ football played by Barcelona and England are on guard for dynamic opponents who like to move the ball and look for space over contact.

They are not the force of four years ago when they lit up their home World Cup through enterprise and courage, but they have the capacity to upset the favourites if they hit their stride.

Ben Fleming17 September 2023 19:35


England’s Steve Borthwick speaks to ITV

Here’s what the England head coach had to say ahead of kick-off:

Ben Fleming17 September 2023 19:30


England vs Japan talking points

A fudge beckons when Borthwick is confronted with one of the toughest selection decisions of his young reign. George Ford was outstanding against Argentina and is in the form of his life, but with Owen Farrell completing a four-match suspension against Japan the long-term friends are battling for the same number 10 jersey.

Borthwick will reveal his thinking in the final group fixture against Samoa on October 7 when he is expected to reunite the duo in a playmaking axis that served England well in 2019, but before then Ford has one last opportunity to show why he should be entrusted to pilot the team by himself.

Luke Baker17 September 2023 19:20


England vs Japan talking points

A big moment looms for Kyle Sinckler, who will be making his first World Cup appearance since he was knocked out in the final against South Africa four years ago.

Sinckler was in the form of his career in Japan, his scrummaging, ball handling skills and rampaging runs elevating him into the sport’s elite band of tighthead props. The 30-year-old has failed to rescale those heights since and now that he has recovered from a chest injury to take his place in the front row, he will be determined to invoke his 2019 form.

Luke Baker17 September 2023 19:10


England vs Japan

Hello from a hot and humid Stade de Nice, where England’s players have just started their warm-ups, George Ford and Marcus Smith punting to one another as they acquaint themselves with the pitch. This was the scene of one of English football’s great disappointments, the exit to Iceland in the 2016 Euros – there were a few fans discussing exactly that non the tram over from the city earlier.

Given Japan’s lack of form this year, you’d say a defeat tonight for England would come as a bit of a surprise, though Jamie Joseph’s men still have oodles of quality in their 23. Portugal lit up this ground last night with their vibrant attacking game – can Japan do likewise?

(Getty Images)

Harry Latham-Coyle at the Stade de Nice17 September 2023 19:08


England vs Japan talking points

England delivered a defensive masterclass to nullify clueless Argentina but there was no masking their attacking deficiencies. The most glaring moment was the butchering of a clear overlap that the same players would finish with ease for their clubs.

If England are to advance deeper into the World Cup they must show they have the capacity to score tries as drop goals and penalties alone will not be sufficient to see off the big guns.

Luke Baker17 September 2023 19:00


England vs Japan talking points

England have amassed more cards this year than any team ranked in the top 10, accumulating five yellows and four reds. It is a debilitating statistic and while Steve Borthwick and Kevin Sinfield are adamant that the team do not have a discipline problem, they know they can not keep playing with 14 men – or even less.

The officiating of incidents involving head contact and their subsequent disciplinary hearings during this World Cup have been plagued by inconsistency, making avoiding dangerous play more important than ever.

Luke Baker17 September 2023 18:50


Maro Itoje will take England victories at the World Cup ‘by any means necessary’

Maro Itoje insists England will do whatever it takes to win if a substance over style approach emerges as their blueprint for success at the World Cup.

George Ford kicked all 27 points in their rout of Argentina last Saturday as England responded to the third-minute dismissal of Tom Curry for a dangerous tackle by grinding the Pumas into submission.

It was a rousing riposte to a dismal warm-up campaign but having excelled in defence and shown the smarts to shape their gameplan according to events, a potent attack remains elusive.

Free running Japan are the next assignment at the Stade de Nice on Sunday and while Itoje would prefer to see England run riot, he will take a victory any way it comes.

When asked if it matters how the team win, Itoje said: “For me, it’s by any means necessary.”

Luke Baker17 September 2023 18:40


Lewis Ludlam replaces suspended Tom Curry as England make minimal changes for Japan

After a much-needed win over Argentina in Marseille, England head to Nice full of confidence.

The backline remains intact from the 27-10 win against Los Pumas.

Luke Baker17 September 2023 18:25


Steve Borthwick questions World Rugby’s silence on red card inconsistency

England head coach Steve Borthwick has appeared to question what he perceives as a silence from World Rugby during the ongoing debate over head contacts and consistency in officiating.

The opening weekend of the Rugby World Cup was in part overshadowed by a series of contentious incidents, with Tom Curry shown a red card after making head-to-head contact with Argentina’s Juan Cruz Mallia in the opening minutes of England’s Pool D opener.

That has led to a renewed discussion on how high tackles are being managed by the officials, with a number of prominent pundits and ex-players questioning the “consistency”.

Luke Baker17 September 2023 18:10

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