News Update


England wins 22-30. Fiji: The Pacific island nation defeated England for the first time.

The Pacific Islanders scored three second-half tries at Twickenham, causing England’s frail defense to crumble.

Late in the game, Joe Marchant’s try and George Ford’s conversion got England within a point.

Selestino Ravutaumada, on the other hand, set up Simione Kuruvoli to secure the victory.

The day began with hope for England as Courtney Lawes led the team out to celebrate his 100th cap.

The pessimism surrounding English rugby had deepened even further by the time the full-time whistle sounded, with their first defeat by a team from outside the Six Nations and Rugby Championship, two weeks before the start of their World Cup campaign against Argentina.

Borthwick has ‘no doubt’ that England will progress.
Preparations that were disappointing have come to an end.
England’s warm-up campaign has been hampered by concerns with discipline, critical injuries, and poor form.

Due to the lack of attendance, the whole top section of Twickenham was closed, with the exception of a tiny portion of seating occupied by England’s players who were not included in the matchday squad, including banned duo Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola.

Captain Farrell and Vunipola, the squad’s lone specialist number eight, are both serving bans for high tackles and will miss the World Cup opener against Argentina.

Injuries have also forced Jack van Poortvliet (ankle) and Anthony Watson (calf) to withdraw from England’s 33-man squad.

Coach Steve Borthwick has named Alex Mitchell as Van Poortvliet’s replacement and has until Monday to name his final squad, which is expected to include Jonny May after his try-scoring return to the international fold, while Tom Curry, one of England’s standout performers at the 2019 World Cup, has not played all summer.

England’s defense is a major worry, with 11 tries conceded in four summer warm-up matches. The attack is also not a strength, with only five tries in four games, three of which they have lost.

May ended their wait for a back to score since Freddie Steward’s consolation try against France in the Six Nations in March, although utility backs Marcus Smith and Marchant also scored in the second half against Fiji.

The World Cup preparations have not been easy, but the dress rehearsals are gone and the real thing begins for Borthwick’s team on September 9 in Marseille.

England shows potential but then falters.
England played on the front foot for the first 20 minutes, with Manu Tuilagi’s aggressive running posing a threat in midfield.

They were rewarded when May, who appeared to be conducting a final audition for a spot in the World Cup team following Watson’s injury, handed off to Ravutaumada in the corner, ending England’s six-hour wait for a try from the backline.

However, when the rain began to pour, England’s dominance eroded, despite the fact that the conditions should have favored the hosts and limited the visitors’ free-flowing off-load game.

Waisea Nayacalevu’s first-half try was chalked out for a forward pass in the build-up, but three minutes after the interval, he went over legitimately after Ravutaumada did to May what May had done to him in the opening exchanges.

Vinaya Habosi scored Fiji’s second try after picking up the ball from the base of a ruck and racing clear, sending the small pocket of travelling fans into a frenzy.

Smith’s entrance off the bench was a bid to give England a spark in attack, and for the second time in as many games at Twickenham, the hosts rallied after falling down, as they did two weeks previously in a tight triumph over Wales.

Ford chipped the ball over the onrushing Fijian defense for Smith to gather and score beneath the posts, but Caleb Muntz’s boot held England at bay.

Borthwick’s team had optimism after Marchant’s late finish, but the elusive Ravutaumada skipped back inside and freed his arms to unload for Kuruvoli to dive over and end any chances of an England comeback.

Steward, Malins, Lawrence, Tuilagi, May, Ford, Mitchell, Genge, Dan, Cole, Itoje, Chessum, Lawes (c), Willis, Earl.

Walker, Marler, Stuart, Ribbans, Ludlam, Care, Smith, Marchant are the replacements.

Droasese, Ravutaumada, Nayacalevu (c), Radradra, Habosi, Muntz, Lomani, Mawi, Matavesi, Tagi, Nasilasila, Cirikidaveta, Tuisue, Tagitagivalu, Mata.

Togiatama, Koroiduadua, Tawake, Mayanavanua, Miramira, Kuruvoli, Tela, Ravouvou are the replacements.


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