Rugby World Cup 2019: Owen Farrell, Billy Vunipola and other England players to watch out for

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With England’s first match in the Rugby World Cup just three weeks away, we take a look at the star players who will be key to their Webb Ellis trophy prospects in Japan.


Position: Outside-half

Farrell has been in impeccable form since the Six Nations and his on-field presence is a threat to opposition. Apart from his solid kicking and accurate distribution, he sets the tone for England’s defensive defiance and, if not selected at 10, you can bet he’ll produce a stellar effort at 12.

A central figure and classy player.

Position: Centre

A man most players would not like to have to come up against. The Leicester player is a wrecking ball through any defence and an unrivalled weapon in the midfield. He has feet like Cinderella and can use his deft touch to put his outside man in favourable attacking positions.

Position: Prop

Vunipola produced a performance for the ages against Ireland in the Six Nations, but injury has curtailed his impact over recent months. A devastating performer in the loose, the Saracens man shows soft hands, thunderous carries and even jinky side steps when in possession.

Let’s hope he stays fully fit in Japan. A colossus of a player.

Position: Lock

A quality footballer who consistently produces big numbers each game. Itoje is a serious breakdown threat and does all the quiet work as loudly as possible.

If a Lions team was to be selected tomorrow, the Saracens man would be one of the first six names on the team sheet. He has the athleticism and brings immense physicality to the contest. Scary to think he is still only 24.

Position: No8

The 28-year-old has the priceless ability to get his side on the front foot, whether it’s exploding off the back of scrums, carrying or simply hauling down opposition attackers.

One could look worldwide and still not find a better No8 than the Saracens stalwart. Vunipola hums with godliness and will be a vital cog in Jones’ potential World Cup-winning machine.

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