England captain Owen Farrell will win his 100th Test cap when he starts at flyhalf in Saturday’s Twickenham international against Tonga, while the exciting Marcus Smith, who has missed parts of training this week with a leg injury, has to settle for a place on the bench.

Farrell will be making his 94th England appearance, having also played six Tests for the British & Irish Lions, and takes the number 10 shirt after Smith, who’d been widely expected to start in that position, was unable to take part in key preparation sessions.

Injury-hit inside centre Manu Tuilagi makes his first appearance since March 2020, with Henry Slade at outside centre. Ben Youngs will win his 110th cap at scrumhalf, with uncapped Alex Mitchell among the replacements.

Wing prospect Adam Radwan will win his second cap, with Freddie Steward winning his third at fullback.

Coach Eddie Jones has opted for Tom Curry at No.8, with Alex Dombrandt set to join the fray from the bench, and Courtney Lawes starting at blindside flanker.

Tonga, shorn of several first-choice players, were hammered 60-14 by Scotland last week and England, playing in front of an 82,000 Twickenham full house for the first time since last year’s Six Nations, will expect another demolition job.

Fans though are likely to be less interested in the scoreline than England’s approach, as they seek to move on from their turgid play of the last year.

“The speed of the ruck has gone from three seconds to 2.79, which is about a 10% increase in speed, so there are opportunities to be more aggressive with the ball,” Australian Jones said.

“That’s where the game’s at at the moment and that’s what we’re looking for. We’re not going to be the perfect finish on Saturday but we’re going to play with a lot of intensity, a lot of physicality and we want to keep those fans at Twickenham glued to the edge of their seats.”

Saturday’s matchday squad includes 13 players who were involved in the 2019 World Cup and 10 new faces and Jones is hoping the injection of youth will lift the side.

“We want trademark games out of them,” Jones said of the young brigade. “To play with a lot of effort and a lot of control, and then if they get the opportunity, to bring their special talents to the game.”

After this week’s warm-up England face Australia on November 13 and world champions South Africa the following week but Jones was in no mood to write off Saturday’s opponents.

“What a rugby country,” he said of the Pacific island.

“100,000 people and they produce per capita more fantastic rugby players than any other country in the world.”

England team: Freddie Steward (Leicester), Adam Radwan (Newcastle), Henry Slade (Exeter), Manu Tuilagi (Sale), Jonny May (Gloucester), Owen Farrell (Saracens) Ben Youngs (Leicester); Ellis Genge (Leicester), Jamie George (Saracens), Kyle Sinckler (Bristol), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Jonny Hill (Exeter), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Sam Underhill (Bath), Tom Curry (Sale).

Replacements: Jamie Blamire (Newcastle), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Will Stuart (Bath), Charlie Ewels (Bath), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Alex Mitchell (Northampton), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), George Furbank (Northampton).

Owen Farrell set to win his 100th Test cap
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