England vs Ireland: Owen Farrell and George Ford start together for first time in 14 months
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England stars George Ford and Owen Farrell will pair up from the start for the first time in 14 months when Ireland travel to Twickenham on Saturday.

Ford retains his place at fly-half following the defeat to Wales, with captain Farrell starting at inside centre and lining up alongside Manu Tuilagi in midfield.

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Owen Farrell returns for England

Former age-group international pairing Ford and Farrell last started a Test at 10 and 12 when England lost 23-12 to South Africa in Bloemfontein on June 16, 2018.
Harlequins prop Joe Marler will make his first Test start since coming out of retirement and winning a place in boss Eddie Jones’ 31-man World Cup squad.

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“This weekend we will be looking to gain more game fitness and testing different sorts of game strategies,” said Jones.

“We have a specific way of how we want to play and the focus is very much on ourselves.”

England boss Jones lamented his side’s lack of line breaks in last weekend’s 13-6 defeat in Wales and challenged his midfield to pass more on Saturday.

Explaining the decision to pair up Ford and Farrell in midfield again, Jones said: “We’re just trying a different strategic approach to the game.

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George Ford retains his place

“It’s about finding out what sort of tactical approaches we can employ and use in Japan, because we’re going to need a few.

“We want to see a passing game.

“We played a quite tight game against Wales. Last week there were zero line breaks.

“So we feel like this game we probably need to pass a bit more, and with George at 10 and Owen at 12 we think we can do that.”

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