The Latest: England at full strength to take on Argentina

TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Day 14 (all times local):

12:35 p.m.

England coach Eddie Jones has made just one change to the starting XV that opened the Rugby World Cup for the crucial Pool C game against Argentina.

Lock Courtney Laws is the only player who featured in England’s tournament-opening win over Tonga at Sapporo who has been dropped to the bench for Saturday’s game against the Pumas at Tokyo Stadium. He was replaced by George Kruis.

The England squad has been boosted by the return of Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell to the bench. The pair missed England’s opening two wins over Tonga and the United States because of hamstring and ankle injuries.

Jones has picked his best available lineup, with George Ford and Owen Farrell combined in the halves and Manu Tuilagi at center, where he scored two tries against Tonga.

A win for England would ensure it advances to the quarterfinals ahead of its last group-stage game against France.

"Argentina is a completely different team from others we have played and are always about the physical contest," Jones said. "This week it's about getting our set piece in a good place and making sure defensively we are organized and ready to find ways to score points against them."

England: Elliot Daly, Anthony Watson, Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell (captain), Jonny May, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Billy Vunipola, Sam Underhill, Tom Curry, George Kruis, Maro Itoje, Kyle Sinckler, Jamie George, Joe Marler. Reserves: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Dan Cole, Courtney Lawes, , Lewis Ludlam, Willi Heinz, Henry Slade, Jack Nowell.


12:15 p.m.

The South African rugby union says it has begun a confidential “internal process” with Springboks lock Eben Etzebeth over allegations he physically and racially abused a person in South Africa before the Rugby World Cup.

SA Rugby’s statement comes a day after the South African Human Rights Commission announced it would take Etzebeth to an equality court on Friday over the allegations. Etzebeth has denied any assault or racial abuse.

SA Rugby didn’t say if Etzebeth would still play against Italy in a crucial pool game at the World Cup in Japan on the same day the human rights commission says it’ll begin court proceedings against him in South Africa. The indications are that Etzebeth will play and remain at the Rugby World Cup.

The case relates to a night out in the coastal town of Langebaan in late August when Etzebeth was at a bar with friends and family members. He has been accused of assaulting and racially abusing a person, who then complained to the human rights commission.

SA Rugby says it has been in communication with the human rights commission and has “instituted an internal process to address the matter, the details of which remain an employment matter between SA Rugby and the player.”

Equality courts generally operate like civil courts in South Africa. No criminal charges have been filed against Etzebeth.


11:50 a.m.

Argentina coach Mario Ledesma has made just one change to his starting lineup for the Pumas’ must-win game against England at Tokyo Stadium on Saturday.

No. 8 Javier Ortega Desio replaces Tomas Lezana in the only change to the XV that started in Argentina’s previous win over Tonga.

Desio returns after starting in Argentina’s opening 23-21 loss to France, a result which put the Pumas in jeopardy of missing the knockout stages from Pool C.

Hooker Julian Montoya and flyhalf Urdapilleta retain their places after replacing veterans Agustin Creevy and Nicolas Sanchez for the win over Tonga. Creevy remains on the bench, and Sanchez has dropped out of the match-day 23.

If ex-captain Creevy comes onto the field on Saturday, he will earn his 88th test cap to take the Argentina record in his own right.

Argentina: Emiliano Boffelli, Matías Moroni, Matias Orlando, Jeronimo De La Fuente, Santiago Carreras, Benjamin Urdapilleta, Tomás Cubelli; Javier Ortega Desio, Marcos Kremer, Pablo Matera (captain), Tomas Lavanini, Guido Petti, Juan Figallo, Julian Montoya, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro. Reserves: Agustin Creevy, Mayco Vivas, Santiago Medrano, Matias Alemanno, Tomas Lezana, Felipe Ezcurra, Lucas Mensa, Bautista Delguy.


11:30 a.m.

Day 14 of the Rugby World Cup features two games with Ireland taking on Russia and Fiji against Georgia.

Fiji needs to beat Georgia in Osaka on Thursday to have any chance of progressing to the knockout rounds from Pool D following its upset loss to Uruguay and an opening loss to Australia.

Ireland is coming off a shocking loss to host Japan and needs to get back on track against Russia at Kobe in Pool A. The Irish started the tournament with the No. 1 ranking but have slipped following a 1-1 start to the World Cup.

South Africa and Italy meet in Shizuoka on Friday ahead of a weekend featuring five games.


More AP Rugby World Cup: and

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