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Thursday 8 December 2016

Sam Burgess and Owen Farrell get the nod as England overhaul team for Wales test

England's Owen Farrell during training
England's Owen Farrell during training

England are set to overhaul their midfield by bringing in Sam Burgess and Owen Farrell for Saturday’s critical World Cup showdown at Twickenham with the aim of meeting Wales’ power game head-on.

Burgess and Brad Barritt are ready to forge a new centre combination after Jonathan Joseph was ruled out of the Pool A clash with a chest injury, while Farrell has been picked ahead of George Ford at fly-half.

Joseph is continuing treatment on the pectoral muscle problem suffered during Friday’s bonus-point victory over Fiji and England retain hope that he still has a role to play in the group stage. The Farrell, Burgess, Barritt axis will provide a muscular presence in the looming gainline war at Twickenham and their inclusion extends beyond the desire to simply contain the Welsh.

It is understood the selection is born out of a belief that the game must initially be taken to Wales using powerful ball carriers with the ultimate objective of wearing them down.

England are set to overhaul their midfield by bringing in Sam Burgess and Owen Farrell for Saturday’s critical World Cup showdown at Twickenham with the aim of meeting Wales’ power game head-on.

Burgess and Brad Barritt are ready to forge a new centre combination after Jonathan Joseph was ruled out of the Pool A clash with a chest injury, while Farrell has been picked ahead of George Ford at fly-half.

Joseph is continuing treatment on the pectoral muscle problem suffered during Friday’s bonus-point victory over Fiji and England retain hope that he still has a role to play in the group stage. The Farrell, Burgess, Barritt axis will provide a muscular presence in the looming gainline war at Twickenham and their inclusion extends beyond the desire to simply contain the Welsh.

It is understood the selection is born out of a belief that the game must initially be taken to Wales using powerful ball carriers with the ultimate objective of wearing them down.

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