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England vs Tonga Rugby World Cup 2019 result: Manu Tuilagi double seals victory in misfiring display

Re-live the action from England’s opening Rugby World Cup victory as Eddie Jones’s side made a winning start to their Japan 2019 campaign

Jack de Menezes
Sapporo Dome
Sunday 22 September 2019 14:00
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Rugby World Cup: England vs Tonga preview

Two tries by centre Manu Tuilagi helped England to a scrappy 35-3 bonus-point victory over a tough and resilient Tonga in their Rugby World Cup Pool C opener in Sapporo on Sunday.

Mindful the three-time world champions New Zealand had demolished Tonga 92-7 two weeks ago, Eddie Jones's side were keen to flex their muscles and send a message that they could match the tournament favourites with a similar performance. The Tongans, led by big-hitting loose forwards Sione Kalamafoni and Zane Kapeli, however, proved difficult to break down and it was only rampaging centre Tuilagi's tries that gave England an 18-3 advantage at half-time.

Hooker Jamie George and his replacement Luke Cowan-Dickie added second-half tries for the 2003 champions, who controlled territory and possession and had a smart tactical kicking game but could not finish off the numerous chances they created.

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Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of the Rugby World Cup clash between England and Tonga, brought to you from pitchside at the Sapporo Dome in Japan.

Eddie Jones's side launch their assault on the World Cup looking to banish the painful memories of 2011 and 2015, with a generous opener against what should be the easiest team in the Pool C in Tonga - at least according to the world rankings.

But Tonga will be no pushovers, and their reputation goes before that in being ultra-tough competitors and fierce defensive players who will leave a mark or two on the English as they plot a major upset.

The match is set to get underway at 11:15am BST - 7:15pm in Japan - and we'll begin our full coverage from 6pm.

However, this is one of three matches taking place today, and you can follow the latest from Ireland's Pool A clash with Scotland that kicks off at 8:45am BST below.

Jack de Menezes22 September 2019 07:15
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We're all set-up inside the Sapporo Dome with an hour to go until the final match of the day. England fancy their chances in this tournament, but will have to put out something of a statement after the bright starts made by New Zealand and Ireland so far.

The Irish are currently 19-3 to the good against Scotland with about half an hour left to play.

Jack de Menezes22 September 2019 10:11
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The teams are in and confirmed, and there are no changes to what was announced earlier in the week.

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

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge, Dan Cole, George Kruis, Lewis Ludlam, Willi Heinz, Henry Slade, Jonathan Joseph.

Tonga: David Halaifonua; Atieli Pakalani, Siale Piutau, Cooper Vuna, Viliami Lolohea; Kurt Morath, Sonatane Takulua; Siegfried ‘Fisiihoi, Sosefo Sakalia, Ben Tameifuna; Sam Lousi, Halavela Fifita; Sioe Kalamafoni, Zane Kapeli, Maama Vaipulu.

Replacements: Siua Maile, Latu Talakai, Ma’afu Fia, Dan Faleafa, Nasi Mau, Leon Fukofuka, James Faiva, Nafi Tu’itavake.

Referee: Paul Williams

Jack de Menezes22 September 2019 10:19
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What will Tonga need to do to if they're going to cause an upset tonight? 

Tonga coach Toutai Kefu explains:

Jack de Menezes22 September 2019 10:28
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The teams are going through their warm up preparations inside the Sapporo Dome, and the Tongans are looking resplendent in a bright orange training jersey that really does stand out.

However, the crowd looks predominantly English here with plenty of white around the pitch, as well as a fair few Aussies who look to have stayed one following yesterday's match.

Jack de Menezes22 September 2019 10:57
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The England side are being put through their paces in front of of us, with Eddie Jones getting stuck in as usual in the heart of the drills even though he's today in shirt, tie and trousers. The Tongans meanwhile get a huge round of applause as they head into the sheds, with Jones watching them as they go, before England follow.

Jack de Menezes22 September 2019 11:02
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A huge cheer goes up for Eddie Jones as he appears on the big screen. The Japanese clearly haven't forgotten what he did for them at the World Cup four years ago, and the England fans will be hoping he can achieve just as great memories this time around.

When we spoke to him this week, he displayed his emotional side for possibly the first time since taking charge of England, and clearly this means a great deal to him.

Jack de Menezes22 September 2019 11:06
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Lead out by Owen Farrell and Siale Piutau, here come the teams! 

They get a huge reception from the close-to-sell-out crowd.

Time for the anthems.

Jack de Menezes22 September 2019 11:11
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After a moment's silence following the recent death of the Tongan prime minister, and the two national anthems, it's time for England to face the Sipe Tau. The fans respond with Swing Low Sweet Chariot, and you can feel the atmosphere starting to ramp up.

Jack de Menezes22 September 2019 11:15
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That was really something. An intense challenge is laid out to England, and if they didn't know they were in a fight, they certainly do now!

Here we go. Will this be the start of England's journey to World Cup glory, or will the wheels come off early once again? We're about to find out.

Jack de Menezes22 September 2019 11:17

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