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Ewels and Ford start for England in tour opener

9 June 2017

Bath Rugby's Charlie Ewels and George Ford will start for England in the first of two matches against Argentina taking place in San Juan on Saturday, kick-off 20:15. 

Ewels will win his fourth cap at second row, where he will feature alongside the experienced Joe Launchbury. Ford meanwhile will co-captain the side at fly-half, as England look to get their tour off to a flying start.  

Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs) and Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons) all make their international debuts at the weekend.
 
Dylan Hartley captains the side in what will be his 85th cap for England. He will move ahead of former captain Martin Johnson and alongside Rory Underwood and Lawrence Dallaglio as the third-equal most capped England international of all time.  
 
There are a total of 345 caps among the starting XV, despite 30 players being unavailable for the tour. Marland Yarde (Harlequins) comes back into the side on the right wing for the first time since the 2016 Old Mutual Wealth Series alongside vice captains Ford (Bath Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins) and Mike Brown (Harlequins).
 
Jones has named seven uncapped players on the bench including Piers Francis (Northampton Saints), who joined up with the squad on Monday evening from Auckland, and Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks), who has recovered well from his foot injury he picked up in Brighton.
 
“I’m really excited about this England team to face Argentina this weekend,” said Jones. “I have selected a group of experienced players across the spine of this team as well as four young players who will be eager to go out and play well on their debuts for England.
 
“Those players have worked extremely hard to get selected over the last few weeks, but I have been impressed with the way the whole squad has trained and gelled together in a short amount of time. They all realise the opportunity that they have to be involved in this England side and I’m sure they will show that commitment on Saturday.
 
“We are here to win this series 2-0 but we know Argentina will be extremely tough opposition. After a mixed year of results, there will be pressure on them to play well and win in front of a partisan crowd. We know Argentina are a very good side having played them earlier this season and they will be desperate to win against us.”
 
England team to play Argentina
 
15. Mike Brown, vc (Harlequins, 60 caps)
14. Marland Yarde (Harlequins, 11 caps)
13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 5 caps)
12. Alex Lozowski (Saracens, uncapped)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 25 caps)
10. George Ford, vc (Bath Rugby, 35 caps)
9. Danny Care, vc (Harlequins, 71 caps)
 
1. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap)
2. Dylan Hartley, c (Northampton Saints, 84 caps)
3. Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped)
4. Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 42 caps)
5. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 3 caps)
6. Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, uncapped)
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, uncapped)
8. Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 8 caps)

Replacements  

16. Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors, uncapped)
17. Matt Mullan (Wasps, 15 caps)
18. Will Collier (Harlequins, uncapped)
19. Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, uncapped)
20. Don Armand (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped)
21. Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped)
22. Piers Francis (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
23. Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks, uncapped)

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