England will kickstart their Autumn Nations Cup tournament against Georgia at a rather quiet Twickenham Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Eddie Jones’ squad start the tournament third in the World Rankings meanwhile Georgia will start in 12th after leapfrogging Six Nations wooden spoons recipients, Italy.
Both teams will be hoping to continue their successful winning streak after England won the Six Nations in dramatic style last month. Meanwhile, earlier in 2020, Georgia retained the Rugby Europe Championship yet again, winning it for the third time in three years.
England will be hoping to maintain their 100% winning record against their opponents and build on the 125 points amassed already from their two previous meetings, whereas Georgia will be hoping to break England down by using their weight in the scrum to score some big points. They will hope an empty ground can be used to their advantage.
England: Eddie Jones goes with a number of familiar faces such as Maro Itoje, Jamie George and Elliot Daly as well as the ever-present Ben Youngs and captain Owen Farrell at scrum half and fly half, respectively. Meanwhile Jonathon Joseph returns to the side to partner Jonny May on the wings while Jack Willis, of Wasps, will make his debut at Openside Flanker. After an impressive display for Bristol Bears, Max Malins finds himself on the bench.
Georgia: Coach, Levan Maisashvili changes over half the team that lost out to Scotland at Murrayfield last month in a friendly. Those changes are split evenly with four in the pack and four in the backs. Merab Sharikadze will captain the side. Meanwhile U20 winger, Sandro Svanidze will earn his first cap. Tornike Jalaghonia sits on the bench and looks to earn cap number two after earning his debut against Portugal back in March.
Who is in Charge?
Officials: Veteran Welshmen Nigel Owens will officiate the match.
About the Tournament Itself
With the normal Autumn Internationals thrown into disarray, due to the Coronavirus, plans for a new tournament were put in place after Argentina, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand refused to travel due to safety.
The cup will see two invited teams, Fiji and Georgia, join the regular Six Nations teams in a four week-long tournament, starting this weekend 13-15 November and concluding on 4-6 December.
You can find out more below.
While this tournament goes ahead, a special Tri-Nations tournament, in the southern hemisphere, involving Argentina, New Zealand and Australia will take place in the latter’s country to ensure they remain match fit.
World Cup Champions, South Africa, would normally participate and therefore making it the Rugby Championship but due to travel bans in their own country, they are forced to sit out.
This tournament is very much underway, with the All Blacks leading the group but with Australia in hot pursuit after their comeback win, 24-22, against New Zealand in Brisbane last weekend.