England begin their World Cup campaign against Tonga today. Coach Eddie Jones has said George Ford will start at fly-half with Owen Farrell at inside Centre. Read on for all you need to know to tune in to England vs Tonga − on TV or online.
Where and when to watch England vs Tonga
England fans can expect a feisty encounter at the Sapporo Dome when their men face Tonga on Sunday. The Tongans are joint-leaders with Canada in terms of World Cup red cards.
Jones has named a full-strength side in the tournament opener which says a lot about his respect for the Tongan side.
England vs Tonga kick off time
The game kicks off at 11.15am BST. Blame the time difference.
England vs Tonga TV channel
The match will be available on ITV 1. Further replays, as well as a live stream, will be accessible on the ITV hub. So there’s no excuse to miss this one!
England vs Tonga Match Preview
This is going to be very physical encounter. Tonga might not add to their red card tally, but they are always a fearsome team. Eddie Jones is confident his men will be more than up to the challenge,
“The focus this week has been about getting right for Tonga. We have had a good seven days in Japan where we have acclimatised really well,” Jones told The Telegraph.
“Our sleep patterns are good and the physical conditioning of the players is outstanding… Now it is about putting in a game plan against Tonga and it is important to be tactically right. We know they are going to be ferocious and full of pride and passion.”
Jones is putting out an experienced team to take on the challenge, but even so, they are the second youngest ever fielded by England at a World Cup, in terms of average age.
Mako Vunipola is still out with a hamstring injury, but the giant that is Billy Vunipola, of Tongan heritage himself, will be making a commanding appearance at number 8.
Elsewhere Jones has mainly reverted to the team that trounced Ireland at Twickenham last month. Only George Kruis and the injured Joe Cokanasiga are absent from that line up.
Owen Farrell told BBC 5Live: “We feel like we’ve got a brilliant squad here, with a lot of talent and a lot of cohesion… We feel in a good place – we feel like we’re tighter than ever, and we’re just excited to get going in what’s going to be a brilliant tournament.”
“Tonga will be a tough test for us, because they’re a very proud nation, a very physical team, a lot of devastating players.