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Lawes and Francis on England’s bench against Ireland

Courtney Lawes and Piers Francis will both look to make an impact from off the bench against Ireland on Saturday, with England’s Rugby World Cup preparations now in full swing.

England head coach Eddie Jones has made a number of changes to the starting XV that played Wales last weekend in Cardiff, with Lawes and Francis set to earn their 74th and seventh caps respectively if they enter the fray.

“The players have come back in a very good physical and mental state, and we have had a good preparation this week,” said Jones.

“We purposefully made the week short looking ahead to the World Cup where this might happen beyond our control.

“It is the third of four games for us and come the 8th of September, when we get on the plane, we want to be ready to go. This is another step forward for us.

“This weekend we will be looking to gain more game fitness and testing different sorts of game strategies. We have a specific way of how we want to play and the focus is very much on ourselves.”

England starting XV v Ireland

15 Elliot Daly (Saracens, 32 caps)
14 Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 6 caps)
13 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 34 caps)
12 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 71 caps)
11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 45 caps)
10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 57 caps)
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 87 caps)

1 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 60 caps)
2 Jamie George (Saracens, 38 caps)
3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 23 caps)
4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 28 caps)
5 George Kruis (Saracens, 34 caps)
6 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 11 caps)
7 Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)
8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 43 caps)

Finishers
16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 13 caps)
17 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 53 caps)
18 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 87 caps)
19 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 73 caps)
20 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons/Sale Sharks, 13 caps)
21 Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 2 caps)
22 Piers Francis (Northampton Saints, 6 caps)
23 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 42 caps)