22 September 2019 07:48
After much anticipation, England will open their Rugby World Cup campaign against Tonga in Sapporo today. 2003 winner and Telegraph Sport columnist Will Greenwood offers five reasons why Eddie Jones' men should be confident of lifting the trophy in Yokohama on November 2... 1. Manu is back Manu Tuilagi's performance against Ireland at Twickenham last month was overshadowed by the extraordinary innings of Ben Stokes at Headingley the same weekend, but it was a significant sporting moment, nonetheless. Tuilagi is actually a sportsman in the same mould as Stokes, someone with an ability to dominate the best in the world. To have him back in that type of form is a massive boost for England.
EDDIE JONES' England are in Japan and ready to begin their World Cup challenge. The Red Rose will be keen to get off to a strong start in the competition, with memories of their disastrous home tournament four years ago still painful for supporters and players. 2 Eddie Jones also reckons the heat in Japan will help England in their quest for World Cup glory Credit: AFP or licensors The Red Rose last lifted the World Cup in 2003 and begin their Pool C run with a tough assignment against Tonga. What time does England vs Tonga kick off? THE first of England's Pool matches is on Sunday, September 22.
It has a capacity of 41,580 and England fans will recognise it as the venue for David Beckham's penalty against Argentina in 2002. Currently it hosts both baseball and football, with local sides Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters and Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo calling it home. 2 The Dome was officially opened in 2001 before the football World Cup Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd Which TV channel and live stream can I watch on? YOU can catch this game and every World Cup clash live on ITV. Coverage will start at 10.45am on ITV1 and ITV1 HD. Streaming is also available on the ITV Hub or TVPlayer.com. ITV and the ITV Hub are free for all UK viewers with a TV licence. MOST READ IN SPORT MAD BUY Maddison arrives for Spurs clash wearing 'horrific' £6,500 Louis Vuitton backpack MAUR DRAMA Icardi brutally 'snubbed by new PSG pals over controversial marriage to Wanda' Exclusive TOUGH LOVE Grealish told Mings and El Ghazi to sort out row as he relishes Villa captaincy FAN-TASTIC DEFENDERS Coleen is the nicest Wag to fans — plus how tattoo ruined 'away play' AC DOES IT Lukaku and Brozovic combine to end feud talk and send Inter top with derby win Revealed RONALD MCDONALD McDonald's worker who gave Ronaldo burgers as skint kid found after appeal Teams Our Ikale Tahi team to face England has been named! #teamtonga #teketonga pic.twitter.com/IyIQpjMN8F — Tonga Rugby Union (@officialTongaRU) September 20, 2019 World Cup pools England's hopes of ruling the rugby world in front of the nation crashed and burned four years ago. The Red Rose, then led by Stuart Lancaster, became the first host in Rugby World Cup history to fall at the pool stages. Failure cost Lancaster his job, but his successor Eddie Jones was keen to build on, not revamp, the squad that failed to match expectations in 2015. A group that had not won a Six Nations title under Lancaster suddenly went back-to-back under Jones and, with the exception of a difficult period in 2018, have continued to stride with confidence towards Japan. They say a week is a long time in sport so four years must feel like another lifetime, but how many of Lancaster's 31 man squad made the trip to Asia? Jamie George - IN - England's starting hooker, although he had to bide his time as Dylan Hartley's understudy. Rob Webber - OUT Tom Youngs - OUT Kieran Brookes - OUT Dan Cole - IN - The Leicester Tiger is now 32-years-old, but remains a scrummaging specialist. Joe Marler - IN - Retired, came back and is now ready to start against Tonga on Sunday. Mako Vunipola - IN - On form he is among the best props in the world and has flourished under Jones. David Wilson - OUT George Kruis - IN - England's chief line-out man and has enjoyed success with Saracens and the Lions since 2015. Joe Launchbury - IN - Another one of England's elite second row options. His man of the match display in defeat against Australia remains a lasting image of the World Cup four years ago. Courtney Lawes - IN - Three of Lancaster's four second rows make the cut this time round and he starts alongside Maro Itoje in the opener. Geoff Parling - RETIRED James Haskell - RETIRED Chris Robshaw - OUT Tom Wood - OUT Ben Morgan - OUT Billy Vunipola - IN - Has long been considered as the best number 8 in the business, now he has a chance to prove it on the world stage. Danny Care - OUT Richard Wigglesworth - OUT Ben Youngs - IN - Has dominated the nine shirt since Jones' arrival and that faith has shown in his performances. Owen Farrell - IN - The skipper marshalls England both on and off the field. His versatility at 12 will be key. George Ford - IN - Dynamic and creative. Ford's displays in a failing Leicester side show he is a class act and could be crucial coming off the bench if Farrell starts at 10. Brad Barritt - OUT Sam Burgess - LEFT SPORT Jonathan Joseph - IN - Has a battle to regain the 13 shirt that he once owned under Jones. His fleet-footed games offers something few others have in the squad. Henry Slade - IN - A one-cap minnow back then, now he is one of the best players in the Premiership and has shown that in an England shirt. Jonny May - IN - As prolific a try scorer England have. His finishing ability puts him up there with the world's best. Jack Nowel l - IN - Opportunities weren't rife four years ago and he most likely remains an option from the bench, but his grit is an underrated asset. Anthony Watson - Jury is still out as to whether he is a winger or a fullback, but one thing you can't doubt is his athleticism and skill. Looked good four years ago, he's better now. Mike Brown - OUT Alex Goode - OUT