England unchanged for Rugby World Cup final vs South Africa
Follow our live blog as England face South Africa in the Rugby World Cup final in Yokohama on Saturday (kick-off: 9am)
By Michael Cantillon in Tokyo
Last Updated: 31/10/19 2:35pm
England head coach Eddie Jones has named an unchanged starting XV for Saturday's Rugby World Cup final against South Africa in Yokohama.
The only change to the 23-man squad comes among the replacements as Saracens scrum-half Ben Spencer - who only arrived in Japan this week - replaces the injured Willi Heinz.
The side, which outplayed the All Blacks in the semi-finals to win 19-7, again includes dual playmakers George Ford and Owen Farrell - the later captain and at centre.
The average age of the England XV selected by Jones is 27 years and 60 days, making it the youngest team to start a Rugby World Cup final in the professional era.
Saturday's final will be Jones' 50th game in charge of England and the Australian is the first foreign coach to lead a different nation to a Rugby World Cup final in history.
Only two previous England coaches have reached the 50-Test milestone - Geoff Cooke and Sir Clive Woodward - with Jones holding the best win rate (80 per cent).
"It has been a good week, the players have been together a while now so it's less about the volume of training this week, it's more about sharpening the sword," Jones said on Thursday.
"South Africa are a difficult opponent and we are going to have to fight really hard to win. We know the physical part of the game is going to be important and the players will go into this game well prepared knowing how we want to play. We will go and play with no fear.
The @EnglandRugby team to play South Africa in the #RWCFinal on Saturday in Yokohama!— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 31, 2019
🏟 International Stadium Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama City
📆Saturday, 2 November
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"South Africa will probably play a similar type of game they have played all tournament so we need be good in the arm wrestle and when we have the opportunities to break the game up, we are then confident and composed enough to take them."
England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Mako Vunipola, 2 Jamie George, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 Courtney Lawes, 6 Tom Curry, 7 Sam Underhill, 8 Billy Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Dan Cole, 19 George Kruis, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Jonathan Joseph.