England to let Ruaridh McConnochie loose on Italy in World Cup warm-up

first_imgItaly rugby union team Share on Pinterest Read more May, consequently, believes there could be an immediate McC-flurry of tries from the newcomer. “I’ve told him to look after himself, be smart and don’t push it. He’s here for a reason. He’s had a brilliant season with Bath, he’s got experience at an Olympic Games and he’s a really great guy. He’s going to do well … he’s got good energy about him.”England already have enviable depth in the back three, with Joe Cokanasiga and Elliot Daly also heading for Japan and the recuperating Jack Nowell in reserve. It will be interesting, even so, to see how Watson fares at 15, where he played with conspicuous success for the 2017 Lions in New Zealand. Another striking performance, in concert with his two flanking greyhounds McConnochie and May could yet earn him a more prominent role in the coming weeks.Joe Marler has been practising as an emergency tighthead in case he is required to fulfil that role in a World Cup emergency. Mako Vunipola also came through his most rigorous physical test since tweaking a hamstring against Ireland 10 days ago but Exeter’s Henry Slade is set to miss out for the fourth successive game. With only four days between England’s opening two pool matches against Tonga and USA, England cannot afford to arrive in Japan with too many passengers.Even bruised survivors of England’s unsuccessful 2015 campaign are among those feeling cautiously upbeat, with the lock Joe Launchbury among those hoping the game on Friday will send the entire squad skipping on to the plane to Tokyo on Sunday evening.“The fact we’re about to fly somewhere completely different, a bit of the unknown, adds to the excitement a bit more,” the Wasps captain said. “There’s a good confidence in the squad. When I first broke into the side, one of my first games was our 2012 win over New Zealand. That was seen as a massive one-off. Now I feel we are regularly competing hard against some of the best teams in the world. I don’t think we go into the competition with any fear.” Share on Twitter … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp Since you’re here…center_img Japan’s famous Rugby World Cup win is coming to a screen near you Topics Rugby union Share via Email England rugby union team news Rugby World Cup 2019 Rugby World Cup England will finally unleash Bath’s uncapped Ruaridh McConnochie on Friday as they seek to conclude their World Cup preparations with a flourish against Italy in Newcastle. McConnochie will be named on Wednesday morning in the starting lineup as part of a seriously quick back three alongside Anthony Watson and Jonny May.McConnochie was expected to make his debut during the warm-up games last month but was twice forced to pull out with injury niggles. The former Great Britain sevens player, who collected a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is in line to make it third time lucky at St James’ Park.According to his roommate May, the 27-year-old McConnochie was extremely disappointed to miss out against Wales last month. “Ruaridh was upset on the Friday, immediately after training, before we played Wales,” May said. “Other than that, though, he’s just got on with it. For him not to mope around is a credit to him. That’s probably one of the reasons Eddie Jones likes him.” Reuse this contentlast_img

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