Lawes to hit England century as Saints star is named skipper for Fiji clash

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Courtney Lawes will win his 100th England cap on Saturday as he skippers his country against Fiji at Twickenham (kick-off 3.15pm).

Lawes starts at six in the final Rugby World Cup warm-up match, with Saints team-mate Alex Mitchell also in the first 15 as he lines up at scrum-half.

Saints captain Lewis Ludlam is among the replacements.

Lawes, who made his debut for England against Australia in 2009, becomes only the fifth men’s player to reach a century of caps for the Red Rose.

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Courtney Lawes (photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)Courtney Lawes (photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)
Courtney Lawes (photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)

After last weekend’s 29-10 loss to Ireland, England ring the changes for their side to face Fiji with boss Steve Borthwick making nine alternations to his starting line-up including naming Mitchell at No.9, where the 26-year-old will earn a sixth cap.

Ludlam is set to make his 21st appearance in an England shirt should he enter the action from the bench.

“We are delighted to be back at Twickenham with our home supporters to welcome an in-form Fiji team,” said Borthwick.

“All of the Summer Nations Series Test matches have provided us with an opportunity to continue our preparations for the Rugby World Cup in France.

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"Fiji have proven themselves to be a strong opposition and we look forward to what we expect to be an exciting and challenging game.”

England team to face Fiji: 15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 25 caps); 14. Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 20 caps), 13. Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 13 caps), 12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 52 caps), 11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 72 caps); 10. George Ford – vice-captain (Sale Sharks, 84 caps), 9. Alex Mitchell (Saints, 5 caps); 1. Ellis Genge – vice-captain (Bristol Bears, 51 caps), 2. Theo Dan (Saracens, 2 caps), 3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 101 caps); 4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 69 caps), 5. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 10 caps); 6. Courtney Lawes – captain (Saints, 99 caps), 7. Jack Willis (Toulouse, 12 caps), 8. Ben Earl (Saracens, 17 caps).

Replacements: 16. Jack Walker (Harlequins, 3 caps), 17. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 81 caps), 18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 28 caps), 19. David Ribbans (Toulon, 7 caps), 20. Lewis Ludlam (Saints, 20 caps), 21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 89 caps), 22. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 23 caps), 23. Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 18 caps).