England and Wales continue their Rugby World Cup preparations with the second consecutive warm-up meeting.
Wales secured a strong win in Cardiff last weekend after coming from behind as Gareth Davies and George North helped Warren Gatland’s side win 20-9 in the second half. England have meanwhile named their final squad for the World Cup and Steve Borthwick is hoping the clarity it brings to their remaining 33 players will allow them to build cohesion in the coming weeks.
Perhaps recognizing the need to build winning momentum ahead of the tournament, Borthwick has opted for a near-full side as the hosts return to Twickenham for the first time since a record Six Nations defeat by France. Gatland, meanwhile, have refreshed their starting XI, a whole new line-up ready to compete for places in their World Cup selection, which will be announced a week from now on Monday. Follow all the latest updates from Twickenham LIVE below:
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Owen Farrell was sent off as England secured a narrow late win over Wales
England’s preparations for the World Cup continued to falter after captain Owen Farrell was sent off in a 19-17 win secured by a late George Ford penalty.
Sometime in the final quarter, Steve Borthwick’s men were reduced to twelve as Farrell – whose yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Taine Basham was converted to a red card by the bunker – followed the sinful Freddie Steward and Ellis Genge into the stands.
England’s brainless last quarter saw a 9-3 lead overtaken by a penalty attempt and a daring Tomos Williams touchdown as an otherwise lifeless encounter came to life the moment steward Josh Adams blasted in the 60th minute threw.
A fourth straight defeat and relegation to ninth in the world rankings was on the horizon, but they collected valiantly and despite three players being off the field, they recorded a penalty from Maro Itoje before Ford with three minutes to go converted the decisive penalty.
Jack RathbornAug 12, 2023 8:32 p.m
“We want 15 players on the pitch. I train 15 players on the pitch. This is the message I sent. We know maps are part of the game now. We’re practicing scenarios, we’ve been practicing scenarios this week – but I have to admit we weren’t practicing when we were 12. Maybe we have to do that next week.”
Harry Latham-CoyleAug 12, 2023 8:27 p.m
Courtney Lawes, who took over as captain after Farrell’s sacking, adds…
“Not many teams would win this game. We can take positives from it, but at the same time it’s probably not good enough. If we reduce to 12 men, we probably won’t do what we did today if we continue to put ourselves in this situation. So there is a lot to learn. It’s great to show this character.
Harry Latham-CoyleAug 12, 2023 8:25 p.m
Steve Borthwick reacts to Owen Farrell’s dismissal and England’s victory
“I’m incredibly proud of the character that the players have shown. It’s a group of players who just don’t stop but keep going. They worked hard to convey something to this group that might not have been said in the past.
“Warren coaches a team that’s hard to beat, so it’s often arm wrestling. It’s similar to Argentina’s way of playing. I know they were beaten well by New Zealand but the rest of their games are close. This is the perfect dress rehearsal for this game.
“I’ll wait and see what exactly comes out of it [the Owen Farrell incident]. It is likely to be a disciplinary hearing. I have said that there will be adjustment needs in the coming weeks and months and we will adjust. At this point, it would be wrong for me to comment on a single incident that is likely to result in disciplinary action. We fully support working on players’ tackle heights.
“The key word is if. We’ll wait and see the facts. We’ll find out the facts very soon and then deal with them. I’ve said before that it’s very important to put three players deep in the specialist positions.”
Harry Latham-CoyleAug 12, 2023 8:24 p.m
Owen Farrell receives a red card and faces a suspension to raise doubts about World Cup participation
Farrell was initially booked after his shoulder made direct, violent contact with the head of Taine Basham, who had tried to tackle the Welsh striker. Referee Nika Amashukeli reviewed the incident.
The yellow was then changed to red by TV match official Brian MacNeice and Farrell stomped through the tunnel after being sent off.
Jack RathbornAug 12, 2023 8:17 p.m
Warren Gatland on Owen Farrell’s sending off
“I think it was the right decision. Hopefully he doesn’t get too banned on behalf of Owen – we need someone like him in the game and that would be a huge blow to England. Given his past, I’m not sure what will happen to it. In the last few weeks we have noticed some discrepancies. I look back at the Lions when Dylan Hartley received an 11-week ban for abusing a referee. In everything you just look for consistency. Hopefully we can do that when the World Cup is coming up.”
Harry Latham-CoyleAug 12, 2023 8:06 p.m
Warren Gatland reacts after Wales’ defeat
“There are still some players we are getting to know that we may need to give some chances to. We know and assume that it will be a similar test in advance [against South Africa]. We need to take today’s insights and apply them next week.
“We still have a lot to do, but I’m pretty happy. We awarded eight new caps and changed our entire team from one week to the next. I hate losing and we put ourselves in a position where we should have won the game but hopefully the players will learn from that experience. We think we’re in a pretty good position where we are.”
Harry Latham-CoyleAug 12, 2023 8:04 p.m
Warren Gatland reacts after Wales’ defeat
“Actually mixed feelings. It answered some questions for us and for some people. Our game management in the last quarter wasn’t good enough. It should have been comfortable.
“We did some good things last week and today we benefited a bit in terms of accuracy and the guys’ knowledge of their roles. Some soft penalties. We will have learned a lot from this. They were the most experienced team England have ever fielded in internationals so we have to be pretty happy with that. They didn’t really put any pressure on us offensively.
“Dewi Lake has a little knee problem. We need to have that scanned on Monday.”
Harry Latham-CoyleAug 12, 2023 8:01 p.m
Steve Borthwick reacts to England’s victory over Wales
“At that point, we’re going to see what happens,” Borthwick says of Farrell’s red card.
“We have to adapt, we have a number of players who are updating, we know situations can happen.
“We wanted to name 33 this week for clarity, but I know we’ll have to adjust.”
Jack RathbornAug 12, 2023 7:54 p.m
Ford and Ojo react to Farrell’s red card
“He’s a leader, we get around him no matter what the situation. He’s huge for us, the way he drives us every day, he plays on the edge, of course he does, but that’s why he’s our captain,” said Ford, adding Farrell.
“One thing is for sure: we will have the best preparation and plan to win the game.”
“We work on height two to three times a week. Someone goes down, the second man, there are many unfortunate events. We practice it every week.”
Topsy Ojo adds: “A ban is coming, we just don’t know for how long. He’s not a dirty player but a little too close to the line a couple of times. There’s not enough remedy, he’ll be out for a while. The hope is that he will not be out during the World Cup but will be suspended. We’ll have to wait and see how long it will take.”
Jack RathbornAug 12, 2023 7:50 p.m