Eddie Jones hands George Ford dramatic recall for Rugby World Cup semi-final against New Zealand

  • George Ford recalled at fly-half
  • Owen Farrell moves to inside centre; Henry Slade on bench
  • Jonny May named to start after hamstring scare
  • Mark Wilson replaces Lewis Ludlam on the bench
  • Billy Vunipola to win 50th cap in Yokohama

George Ford has been handed a dramatic recall to the England side to face New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final.

Ford returns at fly-half with captain Owen Farrell switching to inside centre in the only change to the starting XV for what is the biggest game of Eddie Jones’s four-year tenure.

Henry Slade, who had been recalled at outside centre for the quarter-final win over Australia in Oita last Saturday, drops to the bench, where the only other change sees Mark Wilson replaces Lewis Ludlam.

Jonny May meanwhile has been cleared to start having recovered from a hamstring injury, while Billy Vunipola will win his 50th cap in an unchanged back row along with Sam Underhill and Tom Curry.

But it is Ford’s return that is the stand-out selection. The Leicester fly-half has been one of England’s leading performers during their World Cup campaign, having been named man-of-the-match in the pool victory over USA.

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