Hartley retained as England hooker and captain in Pumas test
LONDON (AP) — England has stuck by Dylan Hartley as the starting hooker and rested Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje for their rugby test against Argentina at Twickenham on Saturday.
Elliot Daly and Anthony Watson are on the wings after Jonny May failed to recover from a hamstring strain.
Coach Eddie Jones made his preference for Hartley clear as the starting hooker and captain, ahead of reserve Jamie George, who started all three British and Irish Lions tests against the All Blacks. Hartley wasn’t picked for the tour.
Jones previously indicated he would stand down some of his Lions, and chose on Thursday to omit Farrell and Itoje from the matchday 23.
Henry Slade replaces Farrell at inside center, holding off the challenge of Alex Lozowski who is named on the bench, and George Kruis and Courtney Lawes are paired at lock.
The openside duel has been won by Sam Underhill with his fellow rookie Tom Curry in the reserves.
Daly was expected to miss England’s first two tests of the month against the Pumas and Wallabies because of knee ligament damage, but he has been passed fit.
Winger Semesa Rokoduguni, alongside May the English Premiership’s most potent finisher, features on the bench having been jettisoned by Jones a year ago when he made his only previous appearance for England.
The Pumas have dropped flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez amid four changes after losing to Australia 37-20 at home a month ago.
Sanchez was in the reserves, backing up Juan Martin Hernandez, one of the squad’s two survivors from the only Pumas win in England, in 2006.
The others brought back were loosehead prop Santiago Garcia Botta, lock Tomas Lavanini, and wing Ramiro Moyano, after a hand injury.
Reserve back Santiago Cancelliere could play a tier one team for the first time.
The Pumas have lost all three previous matches to England in the past year.
England: Mike Brown, Anthony Watson, Jamie Joseph, Henry Slade, Elliot Daly, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Nathan Hughes, Sam Underhill, Chris Robshaw, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Dan Cole, Dylan Hartley (captain), Malo Vunipola. Reserves: Jamie George, Ellis Genge, Harry Williams, Joe Launchbury, Tom Curry, Danny Care, Alex Lozowski, Semesa Rokoduguni.
Argentina: Joaquin Tuculet, Ramiro Moyano, Matias Moroni, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Emiliano Boffelli, Juan Martin Hernandez, Martin Landajo; Tomas Lezana, Marcos Kremer, Pablo Matera, Tomas Lavanini, Matias Alemanno, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Agustin Creevy (captain), Santiago Garcia Botta. Reserves: Julian Montoya, Lucas Noguera, Enrique Pieretto, Benjamin Macome, Leonardo Senatore, Gonzalo Bertranou, Nicolas Sanchez, Santiago Cancelliere.