England vs Ireland talking points: Will George Ford and Owen Farrell rekindle partnership?
Watch England vs Ireland live on Sky Sports Action on Saturday from 2pm
By Sky Sports Rugby Union
Last Updated: 24/08/19 1:50pm
England host Ireland in their third World Cup warm-up game this Saturday, live on Sky Sports Action.
Eddie Jones continues to juggle his resources in the team's penultimate match before they head out to Japan on September 8, and the Australian has selected a highly mobile back row.
Ireland will be without Johnny Sexton as he continues to recover from a thumb sprain, but Joe Schmidt has rolled out most of his big guns and there are opportunities for others to state their case for World Cup selection.
We take a look at the key talking points heading into the weekend's battle...
Farrell and Ford back together
Jones has stressed the need for testing different game strategies, but he has returned to a system he has utilised previously for England's final game at Twickenham before heading to the Far East.
Jamie George, Joe Marler and Kyle Sinckler are named in the front row - but it is at 10, 12 and 13 where the game may be won and lost.
George Ford and Farrell start together for the first time in over a year, while the captain is alongside Manu Tuilagi in the centres for the very first time at Test level.
Jones said at his press conference: "We want to see a passing game, as we've been playing quite a tight game against Wales, and as you saw last week, in a game between two top teams over 80 minutes, there were no line breaks.
"So we feel in this game we need to pass a bit more. With George at 10 and Owen at 12, we can look to do that."
The last time Ford and Farrell started in midfield was in Bloemfontein last June, when South Africa claimed a 23-12 win, so all eyes will be on how well they work together once more, having formed the bedrock of Jones' first two years at the helm.
How much will Wales have taken out of England?
England and Ireland are among the World Cup favourites, but they meet on Saturday at very different stages of their preparations.
Schmidt's men have been stepping up their intensity in Portugal following a fortnight's rest, but England have just come through two physical Tests against Wales.
Only five players retain their place in the starting XV so legginess shouldn't be a problem, but Jones has sought to address issues at the breakdown with the return of Sam Underhill and Tom Curry - the 'Kamikaze kids' - alongside Billy Vunipola.
Having hinted at a different tactical approach, England might shelve their use of the maul and revert to testing the Irish scrum five metres out when the opportunities arise.
After Wales dominated the aerial combat in Cardiff, Ireland will seek to put more pressure on Elliot Daly, but the full-back's versatility makes him a valuable asset.
Jones' persistence with him is in keeping with the belief that only a full offensive menu will push England to their peak.
Will Byrne emerge as Sexton's understudy?
Joey Carbery may not be fit in time for Ireland's World Cup opener against Scotland, with the Munster star still struggling to overcome an ankle injury.
The 23-year-old underwent minor surgery on the joint after sustaining the setback a fortnight ago against Italy, which has opened the door to both Ross Byrne and Jack Carty.
Ireland give Carbery no RWC assurances
Joey Carberry not guaranteed to be in Ireland World Cup squad following injury
With Johnny Sexton absent, Byrne will start at fly-half and has a big chance to state his case for World Cup selection
Twickenham is the ideal stage upon which to stake a claim for the game against Scotland.
Assistant coach Richie Murphy said on Carbery this week: "He's definitely trying to get back for that first Scotland game, but it's a case of how we manage that and also manage the squad.
"Although he is very much online for that time-frame, we also have to have contingency plans in place so we'll look at them through the next few weeks and get game-time for certain people."
Carbery's position could come under increasing threat should Byrne perform well from the start, or if Carty has an impact from the bench.
Will England make another fast start?
When these two sides met during the opening weekend of the Six Nations, England were seven points ahead before a number of Irish fans had found their seats.
Schmidt's players didn't even bear a passing resemblance to those who had prevented New Zealand from scoring a try last autumn.
England were slow to get going in their second warm-up match against Wales, and Eddie Jones will be determined to see a return to the ferocious start his side made at Twickenham a fortnight ago.
England won the battle of the gainline in Dublin six months ago with Mako Vunipola and Mark Wilson leading the tackle count.
Jones will target a similar result this time around, forcing Ireland into slow possession and kicking on the back foot, so Schmidt must come with a new game plan.
Has Schmidt come up with another masterplan?
"Schmidt will have worked forensically over the past few months, exploring different options that might be able to stretch and then snap defensive connectivity - that's the absolute USP of a Schmidt team," said Will Greenwood on his latest podcast.
Teams looked like they had done their homework on Ireland's classic play - the Murray dart before hitting the first receiver, before he can either return the pass or might pop it back inside to charge through the middle of the ruck.
Outside that, Sexton's runaround from 10 to 12 is another move that has become very familiar.
Greenwood added: "Opposition defence coaches previously struggled to implement strategies to cope with these set-plays, but the best teams have started come up with a game plan to nullify Ireland's strengths."
Schmidt must now respond with greater invention to force England and other World Cup rivals on the back foot once more.
England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 1 Joe Marler, 2 Jamie George, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 George Kruis, 6 Tom Curry, 7 Sam Underhill, 8 Billy Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Jonathan Joseph.
Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney; 14 Jordan Larmour, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale; 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Conor Murray; 1 Cian Healy, 2 Rory Best (c), 3 Tadhg Furlong; 4 Iain Henderson, 5 Jean Kleyn; 6 Peter O'Mahony, 7 Josh Van der Flier, 8 CJ Stander.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Tadhg Beirne, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Jack Carty, 23 Andrew Conway.
England face Ireland in their next Quilter International on Saturday at Twickenham live on Sky Sports Action. They also face Italy (September 6) in Newcastle as part of their Summer Internationals, all on Sky Sports.