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Thursday 8 December 2016

Sam Burgess dropped for England's clash with Uruguay

England have dropped Sam Burgess from their matchday 23 and named Henry Slade at outside centre for Saturday's final pool match against Uruguay in Manchester
England have dropped Sam Burgess from their matchday 23 and named Henry Slade at outside centre for Saturday's final pool match against Uruguay in Manchester

Sam Burgess has been dropped from England's matchday 23 for Saturday's final World Cup group match against Uruguay at Manchester City Stadium.

Burgess has been omitted from the starting XV and bench as the hosts enter the death throes of a tournament that effectively ended for them with last Saturday's 33-13 defeat by Australia.

In a possible glimpse into England's future backline, George Ford has been recalled at fly-half, Owen Farrell moves to inside centre and Henry Slade will win his second cap in the number 13 jersey.

Eight changes have been made to the starting XV toppled by the Wallabies, including scrum-half Danny Care and wing Jack Nowell making their first appearances of the World Cup.

Alex Goode lines-up at full-back with Mike Brown dropping to the bench, where he is joined by Jonathan Joseph, who started the loss to Australia after recovering from a chest injury.

There has been only one change to the front row with Mako Vunipola preferred to Joe Marler, the second row of Joe Launchbury and Geoff Parling remains intact and James Haskell and Nick Easter start in the back row. Chris Robshaw continues at openside and leads the team.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster revealed that centre Brad Barritt and lock Courtney Lawes were not considered due to injury, while number eight Ben Morgan and scrum-half Ben Youngs were ruled out as they are not able to train until Thursday.

"This is an opportunity for us to finish the tournament with a strong performance against Uruguay and a chance for the likes of young players such as Jack Nowell and Henry Slade to play in a World Cup," Lancaster said.

"We owe it to ourselves and the supporters who have been brilliant throughout. This is an important game for rugby in the north of England and we want to give those people who have been looking forward to this game something to cheer about."

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