Ford returns for England in All Blacks semifinal

England have made one change for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup semifinal against New Zealand, with George Ford returning to the starting lineup.

Ford starts at fly-half, with captain Owen Farrell shifted to inside centre and Manu Tuilagi outside.

Henry Slade drops to the bench, where Mark Wilson replaces Lewis Ludlam. There is no place in the matchday squad for Jack Nowell.

“Preparation has been good this week after a solid win against Australia,” coach Eddie Jones said.

“When you get to this stage of the World Cup, it is all about focusing on being in the moment and getting yourself physically right.

“The squad has approached the game well with real maturity. It has helped having players here who have been on the Lions tour and played against New Zealand. They have been involved in some of the biggest games in world rugby, so this semifinal won’t phase them.

“New Zealand is a great team, they have an impressive winning record since the last Rugby World Cup. Like any good team, you have to take away time and space from them and you have to find areas you can pressure them. We believe we have identified a number of areas where we can do that.”

New Zealand’s lineup announcement saw lock Scott Barrett surprisingly included at blindside flanker, with Ardie Savea shifting to the openside of the scrum.

ENGLAND: Elliot Daly, Anthony Watson, Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell, Jonny May, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Joe Marler, Dan Cole, George Kruis, Mark Wilson, Willi Heinz, Henry Slade, Jonathan Joseph.

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