Friday cover: England ring in changes and prepare for Wales showdown

The National's Sport cover for the Friday, September 23 issue, featuring the England rugby team in training ahead of a crucial World Cup showdown against Wales on Saturday.

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The National's Sport cover for the Friday, September 25 issue, featuring the England rugby team in training ahead of a crucial World Cup showdown against Wales on Saturday.

Coach Stuart Lancaster has sprung some surprise selections for the match, including Owen Farrell replacing demoted George Ford, and Sam Burgess and Billy Vunipola coming into the starting XV.

“There’s definitely no panic,” Lancaster said Thursday of the changes. “I am backing our own players. I’m backing the players we’ve picked for the Matchday 23.”

Of Burgess, and Farrell, he added:

“My confidence has grown on the back of what he’s done, the way he’s come on and contributed off the bench.

“We scored two tries at the end of the game against Fiji; they were a lot to do with Owen Farrell and Sam Burgess.”

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