MX23RW : Thursday, September 16 23:52:05| >> :120:42765:42765:
Oct 10, 2015 at 8pm UK at Etihad Stadium
Watson (8', 42'), Easter (18', 23', 60'), Slade (54'), Nowell (57', 70', 75'), try (80')

Preview: England vs. Uruguay

Sports Mole previews the Rugby World Cup match between England and Uruguay at the Etihad Stadium.

England will be looking to finish their disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign on a high note when they face Uruguay in their final match of the tournament at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium.

The host nation already know that they will not be progressing to the quarter-finals, while Uruguay are without a win from their first three fixtures.


England players huddle prior to the Rugby World Cup match with Australia on October 3, 2015© Getty Images

Stuart Lancaster's side will have had a week to prepare for this match knowing that it is nothing more than a dead rubber, as last Saturday's defeat to Australia ensured that the Wallabies and Wales will progress to the last eight.

Coming into this tournament, Lancaster had been tipped to take charge of the British and Irish Lions next summer, but now the coach's future in charge of England has been called into question, with the team becoming the first to fail to progress from the pool stage at their own tournament.

The fallout from the team's exit has also resulted in details emerging of a training ground incident between coach Mike Catt and fly-half Danny Cipriani, who was left out of the squad, ahead of this tournament, while Lancaster and coach Andy Farrell have both been forced to defend the team selection.

Since their bonus-point win over Fiji in the opening match of the tournament, England have failed to score more than one try in both of their outings against their Pool A rivals, with Jonny May and Anthony Watson each adding a single score in the defeats to Wales and Australia.

The side have scored an average of 24.33 points per match so far at this tournament, with almost half of their points coming from penalties. Only once has the team found themselves a player short, with Owen Farrell receiving a yellow card in the defeat to Australia.

England's back-to-back defeats at the World Cup have seen the team drop to eighth in the world rankings, leaving them below Argentina, and just two places above Fiji.

Recent form: WLWWLL


Pablo Lemoine, Head Coach of Uruguay looks on prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between Australia and Uruguay at Villa Park on September 27, 2015 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. © Getty Images

Uruguay know that they will finish bottom in Pool A, having suffered defeats in their first three outings of the tournament. The team have had just a few days to prepare for this fixture, after losing to Fiji at stadium:mk on Tuesday.

Competing in the pool was always going to be a tough task for the 19th-best side in the world, who are participating in the World Cup for the first time since 2003, with the other sides in the group all World Cup regulars ranked in the IRB's top 10.

Having struggled in their first two matches against Wales and Australia, Pablo Lemoine praised his side's performance against Fiji, with Carlos Arboleya and Agustin Ormaechea both scoring tries in the 47-15 defeat.

There was disappointment for Ormaechea last time out though, as he became the first player at this year's event to be sent off, receiving two yellow cards. However, the fly-half has been cleared to feature in the match against England.

With 27 points on the board from their first three matches, no side has scored fewer points at the tournament so far, while conceding 166 points in three matches also gives Uruguay the worst defensive record.

This is only the third time that Uruguay have qualified for the tournament, but they claimed a win in each of their previous appearances during the 1999 and 2003 editions.

Recent form: WLLLLL

Team News

Sam Burgess in action for England during the Rugby World Cup game with Wales on September 26, 2015© Getty Images

Stuart Lancaster has made a string of changes to his side for their final outing at the tournament, with eight alterations to the lineup that started against Australia, including first starts at this year's event for seven players.

Danny Care, Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Alex Goode will all make their first ever World Cup starts, while George Ford returns at fly-half, moving Owen Farrell to centre.

However, there is no place in the matchday squad for rugby league convert Sam Burgess, who started the defeat to Wales, while featuring among the replacements in the other two matches so far.

Meanwhile, Uruguay have been boosted by the news that Ormeachea will be available for the match despite his red card in the last outing.

Despite having just five days to recover from their last match, there are just two changes, with Felipe Berchesi coming in for Alejo Duran, while Mateo Sanguinetti is preferred to Alejo Corral at prop, denying the loose-head his 50th cap.

England starting lineup:
Alex Goode, Anthony Watson, Henry Slade, Owen Farrell, Jack Nowell, George Ford, Danny Care, Mako Vunipola, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Geoff Parling, James Haskell, Chris Robshaw, Nick Easter
Replacements: Jamie George, Joe Marler, David Wilson, George Kruis, Tom Wood, Richard Wigglesworth, Jonathan Joseph, Mike Brown

Uruguay starting lineup:
Gaston Mieres, Santiago Gibernau, Joaquin Prada, Andres Vilaseca, Rodrigo Silva, Felipe Berchesi, Agustin Ormaechea, Mateo Sanguinetti, Carlos Arboleya, Maria Sagario, Santiago Vilaseca, Jorge Zerbino, Juan Manuel Gaminara, Matias Beer, Alenjandro Nieta
Replacements: Nicolas Klappenbach, Oscar Duran, Alejo Corral, Mathias Palomeque, Diego Magno, Agustin Alonso, Alejo Duran, Manuel Blengio

Head To Head

These two sides have only met once before, with England thrashing Uruguay in their final pool match at the 2003 tournament on their way to lifting the Webb Ellis Cup.

Josh Lewsey scored five of England's 17 tries in the 111-13 victory, setting up a quarter-final with Wales.

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We say: England 56-10 Uruguay

With so many changes, England will not be at their strongest for this match, but the host nation have a lot to prove after a difficult couple of weeks and will want to put on a display in front of their own supporters. With a number of the fringe players involved, there is a chance for some to stake a claim to a more regular role with the national side, but Uruguay will also be keen to build on their two-try performance last time out.

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Sam Burgess in action for England during the Rugby World Cup game with Wales on September 26, 2015
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