England’s poor build-up to the Rugby World Cup has almost been forgotten, thanks to wins over Argentina and Japan to give them control of Pool D.

Their next match is on Saturday against debutants Chile, who have given good accounts of themselves against Japan and Samoa but still gone down to bonus point victories.

England will argue that they are better than both of those teams and Steve Borthwick has given his first-choice players a rest, providing his fringe men with a chance to shine in Lille. 

Does that now include captain Owen Farrell, who returns from suspension and has been seemingly overtaken in the pecking order by George Ford?

There looks set to be selection drama to come, with the coaches having a fortnight to ponder the line-up for the team’s final pool match against Samoa.

Saturday’s much-changed team will be looking to prove a point and although they could take time to gel, it is difficult to expect anything but a comfortable victory.

England vs Chile Prediction

  • England -56.5 @ 17/10
  • Theo Dan, Billy Vunipola and Ollie Lawrence to all score anytime @ 4/1

Team news

Farrell’s return after suspension is THE selection talking point for England and he captains the team for a 44th time, with only Will Carling having led the Red Rose on more occasions.

With Ford on the bench, it is feasible to expect the pair to play alongside each other at some stage as Borthwick tests out potential combinations for later in the tournament.

Fellow fly-half Marcus Smith will provide another attacking outlet from full-back, while six players in the matchday team will make their Rugby World Cup debuts – Bevan Rodd, David Ribbans, Jack Willis, Max Malins, Henry Arundell and Jack Walker.

For Chile, only six players who started the defeat to Samoa are retained in Pablo Lemoine’s XV, with full-back Francisco Urroz set to make his Rugby World Cup debut, eight years after his first international appearance against Brazil in 2015.

Captain Martin Sigren might be familiar to some English rugby fans as he plays domestically at Doncaster.

Centre Domingo Saavedra will again look to lead his team’s defence, having made five dominant tackles in the tournament.

England -56.5 @ 17/10

England’s win over Argentina was shaped by Tom Curry’s early red card, with Ford happy to control the game and keep the scoreboard ticking over with his boot.

His natural game of bringing the ball to the line was more apparent as the match went on against Japan, resulting in a bonus point victory, but England’s attack is still disjointed.

Chile will offer enthusiasm up front and have spark in the backs, but with the forecast expected to be decent, the Red Rose should be able to move the ball around.

Tries could be on the agenda, while the newly-selected forwards may also look to prove themselves by burrowing over.

This is the first time the Red Rose and the Condors have ever met, so there is no precedent. However, it seems sensible to anticipate the 2003 winners to secure a comfortable success.

Theo Dan, Billy Vunipola and Ollie Lawrence to all score anytime @ 4/1

There are several potential anytime tryscorers for England, so it is worth bundling a few together. Hooker Theo Dan is a standout, as he will likely be the player controlling the ball at the back of the driving maul.

England have been excellent in that facet of play and it would not be a surprise to see Dan either peeling off the back to score or dotting down once his colleagues have made it over.

Similarly, number eight Billy Vunipola and centre Ollie Lawrence are likely to be used as strike runners by both Farrell and scrum-half Danny Care.

The pair have the power and footwork to get through defences and will fancy their chances of breaking through the Chilean defence.

Share Article

(Visited 164 times, 1 visits today)