Kruis back for England against Argentina

Julian GUYER
AFP

Bagshot (United Kingdom) (AFP) - England have recalled lock George Kruis to their starting line-up for Saturday's international against Argentina at Twickenham as coach Eddie Jones made four changes to the side that beat Fiji 58-15 last weekend.

Kruis, yet to feature for England this month, has recovered from an ankle injury while, elsewhere in the pack, Tom Wood starts at flanker in place of Northampton team-mate Teimana Harrison.

Saracens star Kruis gets his chance after fellow lock Joe Launchbury received a two-week ban for kicking against Fiji.

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Behind the scrum, Mike Brown starts at fullback with Jonny May on the wing after Jones dropped Semesa Rokoduguni despite the Fiji-born flyer scoring two tries against his native country last week.

"Selection was interesting this week but it shows how competitive and how much depth we are developing," said Jones, who has won all his 11 games as England coach, after announcing his side on Thursday.

Explaining his decision to drop Rokoduguni, who in the international wilderness for two years until last week after making his debut against New Zealand in 2014, Australian coach Jones said: "Roko has improved, we are really impressed with his progress, but there are areas of his game he needs to work on.

"He needs to go back to Bath and work on those and if he does that he'll get another opportunity," added Jones during a news conference at England's Bagshot training base on Thursday.

"We feel May and Brown are best against Argentina. Brown is a strong player in the air, he is strong defensively, carries the ball back hard and we are anticipating it is going to be a tough contest.

"Jonny May has got great finishing skills and we believe that is going to be important against Argentina."

- 'Quality Pumas' -

Reflecting on England's recent wins, Jones added: "All the credit for what the team has done so far this autumn deserves to go to the players who have been absolutely exceptional.

"Dylan Hartley has led from the front as have Owen Farrell, George Ford and Billy Vunipola.

"This game against Argentina is a big step up for us as they were probably the second best team in the Rugby Championship and played some exceptional rugby.

"They are a quality team, have power in the forwards, speed and guile in the backs as well as great experience.

"We appreciate they have threats across the field and they have always been a physical, tough side. They still have their set-piece armoury in the scrum and line-outs so we’re looking forward to a great game of rugby against them."

Jones justified his assessment of Argentina -- who finished bottom in the four-team Rugby Championship -- by saying: "Any team that stretches the All Blacks for 50 minutes is a pretty good team."

England (15-1)

Mike Brown; Jonny May, Jonathan Joseph, Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly; George Ford, Ben Youngs; Billy Vunipola, Tom Wood, Chris Robshaw; George Kruis, Courtney Lawes; Dan Cole, Dylan Hartley (capt), Mako Vunipola

Replacements: Jamie George, Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler, Charlie Ewels, Teimana Harrison, Danny Care, Ben Te’o, Henry Slade

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