England leave out Owen Farrell for Ireland test amid ongoing disciplinary case

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England have left out Owen Farrell from their squad to face Ireland in Dublin this weekend as they await news of an appeal over the rescinding of their captain’s red card against Wales.

World Rugby confirmed earlier on Thursday that it would be exercising the right to appeal a decision made by a disciplinary panel earlier in the week to overturn Farrell’s sending off at Twickenham.

Head coach Steve Borthwick has confirmed that he had originally intended to select the fly half for England’s third Rugby World Cup warm-up game at the Aviva Stadium, but had been forced to omit the 31-year-old after his preparation was “significantly affected and interrupted by the disciplinary process”.

In his stead, George Ford is handed the reins at fly half while Courtney Lawes captains the side from blindside flanker.

“In my original planning for the Summer Nations Series and as part of our Rugby World Cup preparation, Owen Farrell was due to be selected to play in this Saturday’s Test match in Dublin,” Borthwick said.


“However, in light of the fact that so much of Owen’s training and match preparation time this week has been significantly affected and interrupted by the disciplinary process, I have not selected him in the matchday 23. Owen will travel to Ireland with our full support.

“Owen understands the situation, but is of course disappointed, as I am, that he is missing such a special game that he would otherwise have played in.”

Farrell’s absence aside, Borthwick appears to have named a side close to that which he may choose in England’s World Cup opener against Argentina on 9 September.

Anthony Watson and Manu Tuilagi make their first appearances of the summer in the backline, while lock Ollie Chessum is in line for his first game since suffering a serious ankle injury during the Six Nations having been named on the bench.

Chessum’s fellow second row David Ribbans is back available after completing his return to play protocol after a head injury and partners Maro Itoje, while Will Stuart gets the nod at tighthead in a front row also containing Ellis Genge and Jamie George, almost certain first-choice starters at the World Cup.

“It is a great challenge against the number one ranked team in the world and we are all excited for this fixture,” said Borthwick. “The game will be excellent preparation for us ahead of the Rugby World Cup.”

Ireland have also selected a strong side for the encounter as Andy Farrell’s side look to continue an unbeaten 2023.

England team to face Ireland in Dublin (Saturday 19 August

15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 24 caps)

14. Anthony Watson (unattached, 55 caps)

13. Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 17 caps)

12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 51 caps)

11. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 58 caps)

10. George Ford (vc) (Sale Sharks, 83 caps)

9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 123 caps)

1. Ellis Genge (vc) (Bristol Bears, 50 caps)

2. Jamie George (Saracens, 78 caps)

3. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 27 caps)

4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 68 caps)

5. David Ribbans (Toulon, 6 caps)

6. Courtney Lawes (c) (Northampton Saints, 98 caps)

7. Ben Earl (Saracens, 16 caps)

8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 69 caps)


16. Theo Dan (Saracens, 1 cap)

17. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 80 caps)

18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 62 caps)

19. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 9 caps)

20. Jack Willis (Toulouse, 11 caps)

21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 88 caps)


22. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 22 caps)

23. Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 12 caps)

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