Dream debut for Saints star Ludlam as England win against Wales

Tanya Simon
August 14, 2019

A victory for Wales would have seen Warren Gatland's side leapfrog the All Blacks into top spot in the World Rankings following the Wallabies' 47-26 victory over New Zealand in Perth.

Global governing body World Rugby have this year ordered referees to dismiss players for unsafe tackles in the head and neck area, regardless of intent, as they look to make the game safer.

Inside center Te'o had been prominent in Jones' team when fully fit.

Meanwhile former captain Dylan Hartley was omitted following the hooker's long-term absence through concussion and then a knee injury.

Flanker Lewis Ludlam has been plucked from obscurity at Northampton in another pick that would have been unthinkable as recently as May and he profits from Brad Shields' foot injury.

British & Irish Lions midfielder Ben Te'o during training in Cardiff, Wales.

Jones has gambled by taking only two scrum-halves with Heinz providing cover for Ben Youngs, who is first choice in the position.

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Owen Farrell - who did not play on Sunday - has retained the captaincy, with the Saracens star one of two flyhalves along with George Ford but, as expected, Danny Cipriani was not included.

A Sanzaar judiciary is yet to rule on a risky tackle charge but Jones said the on-field red card was too harsh and feared such decisions would ruin key clashes at the World Cup in Japan.

Wales did not know what had hit it as England made a blistering start, the brilliant Vunipola crashing over four minutes in with Heinz dictating and the forwards overpowering the Wales pack. "We have taken the decision to go early because of what we learned from previous campaigns".

"We have got another opportunity against England and this is just the first one on a journey this season so there is going to be lots to work on, which isn't always a bad thing, but we wanted the win here".

England then travel to Kobe to face the United States on September 26, before games against Argentina on October 5, and France on October 12.

England play three more warm-up matches - away to Wales and at home against Ireland and Italy - before their Rugby World Cup opener in Japan against Pool C opponents Tonga on September 22.

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