Vunipola, Daly passed fit to start for England vs Fiji
LONDON (AP) — No. 8 Billy Vunipola and center Elliot Daly have been passed fit to start for England in the rugby test against Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday, while Fijian-born winger Semesa Rokoduguni is one of four changes.
England coach Eddie Jones delayed announcing the team until Friday to give Vunipola, Daly and back-row forward Nathan Hughes — another Fijian-born player — an extra day to prove their fitness. Vunipola and Daly were selected in the starting lineup — Daly out of position on the wing — and Hughes was among the reserves.
Rokoduguni was picked on the right wing for his first appearance for England since 2014. Jonathan Joseph was recalled at outside center, Alex Goode replaced Mike Brown at fullback, and Teimana Harrison got a start at flanker in place of Tom Wood.
Uncapped lock Charlie Ewels was on the bench, where there is a return for utility back Henry Slade.
England started the autumn series by beating South Africa 37-21, for its first win over the Springboks in 10 years. That extended the team's winning run to 11 matches, 10 of them coming under Jones.
Fiji opened its northern hemisphere tour with a 40-7 loss to the Barbarians in Belfast.
"England at Twickenham is the game Fiji will have targeted on their tour," Jones said. "They are one of the iconic rugby nations of the world and we respect them enormously. They bring flair and an unbridled enthusiasm to move the ball at pace, with running skills — if the game becomes unstructured they can be a very dangerous team. They'll come to Twickenham with no fear and hungry to cause an upset."
England: Alex Goode, Semesa Rokoduguni, Jonathan Joseph, Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Billy Vunipola, Teimana Harrison, Chris Robshaw, Courtney Lawes, Joe Launchbury, Dan Cole, Dylan Hartley, Mako Vunipola. Reserves: Jamie George, Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler, Charlie Ewels, Nathan Hughes, Danny Care, Ben Te'o, Henry Slade.