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England vs Wales result: Billy Vunipola inspires impressive victory to halt Welsh winning run at Twickenham

Re-live all the action from Twickenham as England beat Wales 33-19 to record an impressive victory in their first Rugby World Cup warm-up

Jack de Menezes
Twickenham
Sunday 11 August 2019 16:19
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Rugby World Cup: England issue injury update

England made a winning start to their Rugby World Cup preparations by defeating Wales 33-19 at Twickenham, ending Warren Gatland's side's 14-match winning streak.

The hosts got off to a flying start as Billy Vunipola crossed with barely four minutes on the clock, and wing Joe Cokanasiga doubled the advantage to 14-0 soon after when he scored from close range.

Wales were able to respond though, with scrum-half Gareth Davies scoring a beautiful solo effort as he fended off Vunipola and sidestepped Elliot Daly to score from distance, but a lapse in concentration allowed England a third try before the break through Luke Cowan-Dickie.

Wales responded in the second half with George North and Wyn Jones both scoring pick-and-go tries, but captain George Ford kept the scoreboard ticking over and a late drop-goal from Daly secured the victory. Re-live all the action below.

Follow the live updates below.

What time does it start?

The match kicks off at 2pm on Sunday 11 August at Twickenham.

Where can I watch it?

The match will be shown live on Sky Sports Action from 1pm. Highlights will be shown on BBC Two at 6pm.

Teams

England: Elliot Daly; Joe Cokanasiga, Jonathan Joseph, Piers Francis, Anthony Watson; George Ford, Willi Heinz; Ellis Genge, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Dan Cole; Joe Launchbury, Charlie Ewels; Lewis Ludlam, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Jack Singleton, Joe Marler, Harry Williams, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Ben Youngs, Joe Marchant, Manu Tuilagi.

Wales: Liam Williams; George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams; Gareth Anscombe, Gareth Davies; Nicky Smith, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis; Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones; Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty.

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones, Dillon Lewis, Jake Ball, Aaron Shingler, Aled Davies, Dan Biggar, Owen Watkin.

Odds

England to win: 19/17

Wales to win: 10/11

Draw: 22/1

Prediction

Wales by 12: It’s hard to see a full-strength Wales side will fail to win this opening clash given how they were able to take the fight to England’s best side in February during the Six Nations. Wales should edge the scrum, which will give them the platform for their talented back line to do tha damage.

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Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of today's Rugby World Cup warm-up clash between England and Wales, brought to you from pitchside at Twickenham.

Today it all suddenly starts to feel very real, with less than a month to go until England jet out to Japan for the Rugby World Cup that Eddie Jones has been intent on winning for the last four years.

England's preparations starts with the two Quilter Internationals against Wales as they will travel to Cardiff next week for the return fixture, before further games with Ireland and Italy.

But their preparations have been far from smooth this week - which we'll get into more details in our match build-up - while Wales bring their strongest side available in an effort to send out a World Cup statement.

Our pre-match build-up will begin at 12:30pm, while you can see all the details surrounding the match below.

Jack de Menezes11 August 2019 08:47
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There's some confusion already here at Twickenham where the matchday programme has the original team in it. Ruaridh McConnochie, Henry Slade and Sam Underhill are all listed as starting the match, though the information yesterday was that they have been ruled out of the match and Joe Cokanasiga, Jonathan Joseph and Lewis Ludlam will start.

The fact that replacement Welsh scrum-half Tomos Williams is also listed - having been ruled out yesterday with a shoulder injury and Aled Davies taking his place - suggests the programmes were printed before the announcements were made, but until the team sheets arrive we won't know for sure.

Jack de Menezes11 August 2019 12:45
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Let's take a look at the bizarre circumstances that arose this week.

It all started on Monday when Ben Te'o was left out of the side, despite being one of Eddie Jones's favoured personel within his squad. England were particularly cagey about his absence, claiming it was a selection decision, but soon enough the truth emerged.

It came in the form of a "altercation" with teammate Mike Brown, who was also dropped this week. The two are understood to have been involved in an incident during the training camp in Treviso, though it did not come during a training session but in a team bonding session. The result was that neither were selected this week, though they do remain in contention for the squad.

Then came Eddie Jones's appearance yesterday - one os hi most bizarre yet. The England head coach refused to confirm or deny the altercation, but said he's more than happy with the discipline levels of his squad.

Jack de Menezes11 August 2019 13:12
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Then came the changes.

With Jones still in a cagey mood, he somewhat revealed that ENgland had been forced into three changes - then decided not to disclose who they were.

After a strange back-and-forth with the England media officer Gareth Mills, it was revealed that Sam Underhill, Henry Slade and Ruaridh McConnochie had all been ruled out with toe, knee and hip injuries respectively.

It means Lewis Ludlam comes into the starting XV for his first cap, with Tom Curry moving to openside flanker, and Jonathan Joseph and Joe Cokanasiga are added to the back line.

Meanwhile, Wales made one change to the bench, with Tomos Williams replaced by Aled Davies.

Jack de Menezes11 August 2019 13:28
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Finally confirmation has come through of the teams, and it's as re-announced yesterday afteroon.

England: Elliot Daly; Joe Cokanasiga, Jonathan Joseph, Piers Francis, Anthony Watson; George Ford, Willi Heinz; Ellis Genge, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Dan Cole; Joe Launchbury, Charlie Ewels; Lewis Ludlam, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Jack Singleton, Joe Marler, Harry Williams, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Ben Youngs, Joe Marchant, Manu Tuilagi.

Wales: Liam Williams; George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams; Gareth Anscombe, Gareth Davies; Nicky Smith, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis; Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones; Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty.

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones, Dillon Lewis, Jake Ball, Aaron Shingler, Aled Davies, Dan Biggar, Owen Watkin.

Jack de Menezes11 August 2019 13:29
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What a day it is for the Wales skipper.

Today, Alun Wyn Jones becomes Wales' most-capped player of all time, making his 135th appearance for his country to surpass former teammate Gethin Jenkins.

With Wales riding high on a run of 14 straight wins under his watch since the 2018 Six Nations defeat against Ireland, they have the world record of 18 - jointly held by today's opponents England and New Zealand - well in their sights.

Jack de Menezes11 August 2019 13:44
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England head back into the dressing rooms first, quickly followed by the Wales side that beat them last February.

The talk of revenge hasn't been played down as much as you'd have normally expected from England this week, and that Six Nations defeat certainly still resonates with them, given it cost them the title when they were in a winning position at half-time.

Will they make up for it today?

Jack de Menezes11 August 2019 13:48
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It's not a full house today, but the RFU are still expecting a healthy 60,000+ inside Twickenham today.

As Jerusalem rings out ahead of the players' arrival, there's a buzz around the stadium that you get before the big games here. It may not be a match that means anything, but this is still England vs Wales - and that always means something extra special.

Jack de Menezes11 August 2019 13:54
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Looking at the England debutants a bit closer, it's a big day for Willi Heinz. At 32 years old, the New Zealand-born scrum-half becomes the oldest debutant for England since Colin White in November 1983. 

Lewis Ludlam was ready to make his debut off the bench, but the Northampton flanker has been drafted in at late notice and it'll be interesting to see how he gets on in the heat of an Anglo-Welsh battle.

Meanwjhile, Joe Marchant of Harlequins is poised for his first cap off the bench.

Jack de Menezes11 August 2019 13:57
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Here come the teams! Time for the anthems...

Jack de Menezes11 August 2019 13:57

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