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England unchanged for RWC final against Boks

England have named an unchanged team for the Rugby World Cup final against South Africa on Saturday. Captain Owen Farrell, winger Jonny May and prop Kyle Sinckler all proved their fitness after taking knocks in the semi-final victory over New Zealand last weekend.

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN – OCTOBER 26: Ben Youngs of England taps the ball back during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Semi-Final match between England and New Zealand at International Stadium Yokohama on October 26, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

England will take the field at International Stadium Yokohama with the youngest team ever to start a Rugby World Cup final in the professional era, but also one of the most experienced in terms of international caps.

Eddie Jones’s starting XV has an average age of 27 years and 60 days, younger by 11 days than Australia’s team in 2003, who were beaten by England. Australia (1991), New Zealand (1987, 1995) and South Africa (1995) are the only younger teams to have started a Rugby World Cup final, all of them before the game became professional.

Including appearances for the British & Irish Lions, England’s line-up average 51 caps per player. This makes them the third most experienced Rugby World Cup finalists behind New Zealand (65) and Australia (56) in the 2015 final.

Although South Africa’s starting XV are older, on average, by one year and 148 days, their caps-per-man number is lower at 46.

Jones had said earlier in the week that he expected all his players to be fit for selection. He will be in charge for the 50th time – only the third England coach to reach this milestone – and his win rate of 80 per cent is the best of all England coaches. 

The good news on Sinckler, Farrell and May could be significant, as the past three winners of the Rugby World Cup all named unchanged teams for the final.


1. Mako Vunipola 
2. Jamie George 
3. Kyle Sinckler
4. Maro Itoje 
5. Courtney Lawes
6. Tom Curry
7. Sam Underhill 
8. Billy Vunipola 
9. Ben Youngs
10. George Ford 
11. Jonny May
12. Owen Farrell (captain)
13. Manu Tuilagi 
14. Anthony Watson
15. Elliot Daly
16. Luke Cowan-Dickie 
17. Joe Marler 
18. Dan Cole 
19. George Kruis
20. Mark Wilson 
21. Ben Spencer
22. Henry Slade
23. Jonathan Joseph Most Popular1


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