Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints) will win his 100th cap as England captain on Saturday as Steve Borthwick’s men take on Fiji at Twickenham Stadium (kick-off 3.15pm) in the last of England’s Summer Nations Series games before the start of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
Lawes brings up his century of England appearances having made his debut as a 20-year-old against Australia in 2009.
In all there are nine changes to the starting XV who took the field in Dublin last Saturday. In the front row, Theo Dan (Saracens) gets his first England start at hooker, where he is joined by loosehead prop Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears) – who is named as one of two vice-captains – and Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers) at tighthead.
Having featured off the bench against Ireland, Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers) comes into the side to partner Maro Itoje (Saracens) in the second row. Jack Willis (Toulouse) makes his first start of the Summer Nations Series at openside flanker, with captain Lawes on the blindside and Ben Earl (Saracens) at No.8 to round off the back row.
Scrum-half Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints) partners vice-captain George Ford (Sale Sharks) in the half back berths. In the centres, Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks) and Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby) combine to make a powerful midfield pairing.
In the back three, Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby) features on the left wing for the first time this summer, with Max Malins (Bristol Bears) on the right and Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers) again taking his place at fullback.
Hooker Jack Walker (Harlequins) is named amongst the replacements alongside Joe Marler (Harlequins), Will Stuart (Bath Rugby), David Ribbans (Toulon), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), Danny Care (Harlequins) Marcus Smith (Harlequins) and Joe Marchant (Stade Francais).
ENGLAND v FIJI
Saturday 26 August 2023
15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 25 caps)
14. Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 20 caps)
13. Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 13 caps)
12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 52 caps)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 72 caps)
10. George Ford – vice-captain (Sale Sharks, 84 caps)
9. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 5 caps)
1. Ellis Genge – vice-captain (Bristol Bears, 51 caps)
2. Theo Dan (Saracens, 2 caps)
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 101 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 69 caps)
5. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 10 caps)
6. Courtney Lawes – captain (Northampton Saints, 99 caps)
7. Jack Willis (Toulouse, 12 caps)
8. Ben Earl (Saracens, 17 caps)
16. Jack Walker (Harlequins, 3 caps)
17. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 81 caps)
18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 28 caps)
19. David Ribbans (Toulon, 7 caps)
20. Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 20 caps)
21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 89 caps)
22. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 23 caps)
23. Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 18 caps)