Saints ace Lawes gets nod for England World Cup semi-final clash, but Ludlam misses out

Courtney Lawes in action during England's quarter-final win over Australia
Courtney Lawes in action during England's quarter-final win over Australia

Courtney Lawes has been named in the England team for Saturday's crunch World Cup semi-final clash against New Zealand in Yokohoma (ko 9am).

The Saints lock keeps his place in the starting line-up after a strong performance in last weekend's semi-final win over Australia.

But there is disappointment for Lawes' Saints club-mate Lewis Ludlam, who loses his place on the replacements bench to Sale Sharks' Mark Wilson.

Head coach Eddie Jones has made just one change to his starting XV from the win over the Wallabies, with George Ford returning at fly-half, Henry Slade dropping to the bench, and Owen Farrell reverting to centre.

"Preparation has been good this week after a solid win against Australia," said Jones.

"When you get to this stage of the World Cup it is all about focusing on being in the moment and getting yourself physically right.

"The squad has approached the game well with real maturity. It has helped having players here who have been on the Lions tour and played against New Zealand.

"They have been involved in some of the biggest games in world rugby so this semi-final won't faze them.

"New Zealand are a great team and they have an impressive winning record since the last World Cup.

"Like any good team, you have to take away time and space from them and you have to find areas you can pressure them. We believe we have identified a number of areas where we can do that."

England team to face New Zealand in Saturday's World Cup semi-final at International Stadium Yokohama, 9am KO: E Daly (Saracens); A Watson (Bath Rugby), M Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), O Farrell (Saracens, capt), J May (Leicester Tigers); G Ford (Leicester Tigers), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers); M Vunipola (Saracens), J George (Saracens), K Sinckler (Harlequins), M Itoje (Saracens), C Lawes (Northampton Saints), T Curry (Sale Sharks), S Underhill (Bath Rugby), B Vunipola (Saracens). Replacements: L Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), J Marler (Harlequins), D Cole (Leicester Tigers), G Kruis (Saracens), M Wilson (Sale Sharks), W Heinz (Gloucester Rugby), H Slade (Exeter Chiefs), J Joseph (Bath Rugby).