Wales secured a strong victory in Cardiff last weekend, coming from behind as second half tries from Gareth Davies and George North helped Warren Gatland’s side to a 20-9 victory. England have since named their final World Cup squad, with Steve Borthwick hopes the clarity it provides his remaining 33 players will allow them to build cohesion over the next few weeks.
Perhaps in recognition of a need to build winning momentum ahead of the tournament, Borthwick has opted for a close to full-strength side as the hosts return to Twickenham for the first time since a record defeat to France during the Six Nations. Gatland, meanwhile, has freshened up his starting fifteen, an entirely new line-up ready to press for places in his World Cup selection, which will be named a week on Monday. Follow all of the latest updates from Twickenham LIVE below:
Owen Farrell sent off as England secure scrappy late win over Wales
England’s preparations for the World Cup continued to unravel after captain Owen Farrell was sent off in a 19-17 victory secured through a late George Ford penalty.
At one point during the final quarter Steve Borthwick’s men were reduced to 12 men when Farrell – whose yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Taine Basham was upgraded to a red by the bunker – followed the sin-binned Freddie Steward and Ellis Genge into the stands.
England’s brainless final quarter saw a 9-3 lead overtaken by a penalty try and swashbuckling Tomos Williams touch-down as an otherwise lifeless encounter exploded into life the moment Steward took Josh Adams out in the air in the 60th minute.
A fourth successive defeat and slump to ninth in the world rankings beckoned, but they rallied bravely and even with three players off the pitch they claimed a maul try scored by Maro Itoje before Ford landed the winning penalty with three minutes left.
Jack Rathborn12 August 2023 20:32
“We want 15 players on the pitch. I coach 15 players on the pitch. That is the message I sent. We know that cards are part of the game now. We practice scenarios, we practiced scenarios this week – but I must admit we didn’t practice with 12. Maybe we’ll have to do that next week.”
Harry Latham-Coyle12 August 2023 20:27
Courtney Lawes, who took over the captaincy after Farrell’s dismissal, adds…
“Not many teams would win that game. We can take positives from it, but at the same time it’s probably not good enough. Going down to 12 men, if we keep putting ourselves in that situation we are not likely to do what we did today, so a lot to learn. It is great to show that character.
Harry Latham-Coyle12 August 2023 20:25
Steve Borthwick reacts to Owen Farrell’s sending off and England’s win
“I’m incredibly proud of the character the players showed. It is a group of players that just don’t stop, they keep going. That’s something they have worked hard to instil in this group that is potentially something that wouldn’t have been said in the past.
“Warren coaches a team that are hard to beat, so they are often armwrestles. That’s similar to how Argentina play. I know they were beaten well by New Zealand, but the rest of their games are tight. That’s a perfect dress rehearsal for that game.
“I’ll wait and see exactly what comes of [the Owen Farrell incident]. It is likely to be a disciplinary hearing. I said there will be a need to adapt over the coming weeks and months and we will adapt. Rght now, it would be wrong for me to comment upon an individual incident that is likely to go through disciplinary procedure. We are fully supportive of working on players’ tackle height.
“The key word is if. We will wait and see and deal with the facts of the situation. We’ll find the facts out very soon and we will deal with it then. I said before that hving three players deep in specialist positions is very important.”
Harry Latham-Coyle12 August 2023 20:24
Owen Farrell given red card and faces ban to cast doubt over World Cup involvement
Farrell was initially shown a yellow card after his shoulder made direct, forceful contact to the head of Taine Basham having been trying to tackle the Welsh forward, with referee Nika Amashukeli placing the incident under review.
The yellow was subsequently upgraded to a red by television match official Brian MacNeice, with Farrell trudging down the tunnel after his sending off.
Jack Rathborn12 August 2023 20:17
Warren Gatland on Owen Farrell’s sending off
“I think it was the right decision. Hopefully, for Owen’s sake, he doesn’t get too much of a ban – we need someone like him in the game and it would be a huge blow for England. Given his previous, I’m not sure what is going to happen with that. We’ve seen some inconsistencies with that in the last few weeks. I look back to the Lions, Dylan Hartley getting an 11-week ban for abusing a referee. With everything, all you are looking for is consistency. Hopefully we will get that when the World Cup comes around.”
Harry Latham-Coyle12 August 2023 20:06
Warren Gatland reacts after Wales defeat
“There are still some players we need to find out about and potentially give some opportunities to. We know and expect that it is going to be the same sort of test up front [against South Africa]. We need to take the learnings from today and apply them next week.
“We’ve still got work to do but I’m pretty pleased. We’ve given out eight new caps and changed our entire team from one week to the next. I hate losing and we got ourselves in a position where we should have won the game, but hopefully the players learn from that experience. We think we are in a pretty good position where we are.”
Harry Latham-Coyle12 August 2023 20:04
Warren Gatland reacts after Wales defeat
“Mixed emotions, really. It answered a few questions for us, and about a few individuals. Our game management in the final quarter wasn’t good enough. It should have been comfortable.
“There were some good things we did last week and today capitalated a little bit in terms of accuracy and guys knowing their roles. Some soft penalties. We will have learned a lot from that. That was the most experienced team that England have ever put out there in terms of caps so we have to be pretty pleased with that. They didn’t really put any pressure on us from an attacking perspective.
“Dewi Lake has a bit of a knee issue. We need to get that scanned on Monday.”
Harry Latham-Coyle12 August 2023 20:01
Steve Borthwick reacts to England win over Wales
“At this stage, we’ll wait to see what happens,” Borthwick says on Farrell’s red card.
“We need to adapt, we have a number of players bringing up to speed, we know situations happen.
“We wanted to name the 33 this week for clarity, but I know we’ll need to adapt.”
Jack Rathborn12 August 2023 19:54
Ford and Ojo react to Farrell red card
“He’s a leader, we’ll get around him, whatever the situation is. He’s huge for us, the way he drives us every day, he plays on the edge, of course he does, but that’s why he’s our captain,” Ford adds on Farrell.
“One thing for sure, we’ll have the best preparation and plan to win the game.”
“We work two or three times per week on height. Somebody goes low, the second man, there are a lot of unfortunate events. We practice it every week.”
Topsy Ojo adds: “There’s a ban coming, we just don’t know how long. He’s not a dirty player, but a few instances a bit too close to the line. There isn’t enough mitigation there, he’ll be out for a while. The hope is he isn’t out throughout the World Cup, he is going to have a ban. We have to wait to see how long it’ll be.”
Jack Rathborn12 August 2023 19:50