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England's Ford and Farrell back to roots

Fly-half George Ford will make his first England start against Samoa on Saturday but Owen Farrell remains in the side at inside centre with Stuart Lancaster making five changes from the team beaten by South Africa last week.

Ford, 21, has four caps as a replacement and has a real chance to stake a claim for the fly-half berth in the wake of Farrell's disappointing displays in the losses to the Springboks and New Zealand.

The two former rugby league men, who went to the same school, played in the 10 (Ford) and 12 (Farrell) positions in England's age-grade teams and will be charged with bringing some creative spark to the backline, which was pedestrian last week.

Farrell replaces Kyle Eastmond, who has a head injury, but Lancaster, as he always said he would, has made several other changes for the penultimate game of the November series with Australia still to come.


Scrum-half Danny Care and number eight Billy Vunipola were axed from the match squad, with Ben Youngs and Ben Morgan starting.

James Haskell, who has been in great form for Wasps, replaces Tom Wood at blindside flanker, with Rob Webber in at hooker for Dylan Hartley.