England’s national rugby union team has announced its starting lineup for their first Test match of the summer tour against Japan in Tokyo. Head coach Steve Borthwick has selected Marcus Smith as the team’s starting fly-half, favoring him over fellow fly-half Fin Smith. This match marks a significant test as it is the first time England will face Japan in a Test match in Tokyo and former England coach Eddie Jones will be at the helm for Japan.

The starting XV features four changes from England’s previous match against France. Chandler Cunningham-South makes his first Test start at blindside flanker, replacing the injured Ollie Chessum. Bevan Rodd comes in for Ellis Genge in the front row, while Immanuel Feyi-Waboso returns on the wing. Additionally, the dynamic pairing of Marcus Smith at fly-half and Alex Mitchell at scrum-half will direct the game for England.

The match, part of the Lipovitan D Challenge Cup, will be held at the National Stadium in Tokyo, with a kickoff set for 6:50 AM UK time (2:50 PM local time) on Saturday, June 22, 2024. This fixture acts as a precursor to England’s two-Test series against New Zealand next month.

England’s starting lineup:
– Backs: George Furbank (full-back), Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (wing), Henry Slade (centre), Ollie Lawrence (centre), Tommy Freeman (wing), Marcus Smith (fly-half), Alex Mitchell (scrum-half)
– Forwards: Bevan Rodd (prop), Jamie George (hooker, captain), Dan Cole (prop), Maro Itoje (lock), George Martin (lock), Chandler Cunningham-South (flanker), Sam Underhill (flanker), Ben Earl (No. 8)

Replacements include Theo Dan, Joe Marler, Will Stuart, Charlie Ewels, Tom Curry, Harry Randall, Fin Smith, and uncapped wing Tom Roebuck.