Jack Nowell
Exeter teammates Jack Nowell and Henry Slade will both start for England against Uruguay this weekend Getty

Embarrassed hosts England will conclude their dismal 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign with a dead-rubber contest against Pool A minnows Uruguay at the Etihad Stadium.

Where to watch

England vs Uruguay kicks off at 8pm BST on Saturday 10 October. Live coverage is available on ITV HD and BBC Radio Five Live.


To borrow a line from TS Eliot's 1925 poem The Hollow Men, this is the way England's World Cup ends – not with a bang but a whimper. Much was expected of Stuart Lancaster's developing side ahead of this competition, but successive defeats to Wales and Australia have left them unable to escape Pool A and handed them the unflattering tag of the first host nation in the history of the tournament not to qualify for the quarter-finals.

As was always likely to be the case, such a seismic failure has led to a brutal process of introspection and a series of uncompromising inquests that will no doubt continue long after the players have returned to their respective clubs for the start of the new Aviva Premiership campaign. Rumours of a split in camp over the decision to call up rugby league convert Sam Burgess in place of Luther Burrell and a confirmed training ground disagreement between Danny Cipriani and skills coach Mike Catt have dominated headlines this week, with Lancaster's future likely to be decided upon the outcome a review to be undertaken after the final fixture.

Although several ex-players have implored the Rugby Football Union (RFU) not to make a knee-jerk decision and dispense of a coaching team that only signed six-year contract extensions in 2014, it would not come as a shock to see the 45-year-old depart over the coming days, having attracted no shortage of criticism for his selection decisions. A handsome win over Uruguay is unlikely to have any impact whatsoever on Lancaster's chances of remaining in his current role, yet regardless of that he has made eight changes to the team soundly beaten by the Wallabies in a bid to allow several fringe players to stake their claim moving forward.

Nick Easter
Nick Easter replaces Ben Morgan at number eight as one of two changes in the back row AFP

In the pack, Mako Vunipola replaces Joe Marler at tighthead prop after the latter was rendered ineffective at scrum-time last weekend by referee Romain Poite's perceived clampdown on his habit of driving in from the angle. Back row duo James Haskell and veteran Nick Easter, called in as an injury replacement for Billy Vunipola after he suffered a knee strain against Wales, replace Tom Wood and Ben Morgan respectively. Much-criticised captain Chris Robshaw keeps his place at openside flanker despite his struggles to compete against the dual threat of Michael Hooper and David Pocock at Twickenham.

George Ford is restored at fly-half alongside Danny Care, with Owen Farrell switching to 12 to replace the injured Brad Barritt and Henry Slade winning only his second senior international cap at outside centre. Exeter Chiefs teammate Jack Nowell comes in for Jonny May on the wing and Alex Goode starts ahead of Mike Brown at full-back. Burgess does not even make the replacements bench amid rumours that he may yet consider switching codes once more.

Although comfortably beaten 47-15 in the end, Uruguay will be buoyed at having ended their 12-year wait for a World Cup try against Fiji at Stadium mk on 6 October. Not since current head coach Pablo Lemoine went over in a 113-13 loss against England in 2003 had the tournament's second-lowest ranked team crossed the white line, but efforts from Carlos Arboleya and Agustin Ormaechea either side of half-time ended that long drought and help reduce the focus on their scrum-half receiving the first red card of the World Cup late on.

Thankfully for Ormaechea, he will feature in Los Teros' final encounter after judicial officer Roger Morris ruled that he should receive no further sanctions. He retains his place at nine, partnered by Felipe Berchesi as the US Carcassonne playmaker is selected ahead of Alejo Duran. Loosehead prop Mateo Sanguinetti comes in for Alejo Corral in Lemoine's only other change.

Agustin Ormaechea
Agustin Ormaechea will be available to face England after receiving two yellow cards in the defeat to Fiji earlier this week Getty


England: 15. Goode, 14. Watson, 13. Slade, 12. Farrell, 11. Nowell, 10. Ford, 9. Care; 1. M Vunipola, 2. T. Youngs, 3. Cole, 4. Launchbury, 5. Parling, 6. Haskell, 7. Robshaw (c), 8. Easter

Replacements: 16. George, 17. Marler, 18. Wilson, 19. Kruis, 20. Wood, 21. Wigglesworth, 22. Joseph, 23. Brown

Uruguay: 15. Mieres, 14. Gibernau, 13. Prada, 12. A Vilaseca, 11. Silva, 10. Berchesi, 9. Ormaechea; 1. Sanguinetti, 2. Arboleya, 3. Sagario, 4. S Vilaseca (c), 5. Zerbino, 6. Gaminara, 7. Beer, 8. Nieto

Replacements: 16. Klappenbach, 17. O Duran, 18. Corral, 19. Palomeque, 20. Magno, 21. Alonso, 22. A Duran, 23. Blengio

What the coaches say

Stuart Lancaster: "Brad Barritt (arm) and Courtney Lawes (knee) are not available this weekend and Ben Morgan (dead leg) and Ben Youngs (ankle) will not be able to train fully until Thursday. This is an opportunity for us to finish the tournament with a strong performance against Uruguay and a chance for the likes of young players such as Jack Nowell and Henry Slade to play in a World Cup.

"We owe it to ourselves and the supporters who have been brilliant throughout. This is an important game for rugby in the north of England and we want to give those people who have been looking forward to this game something to cheer about."

Pablo Lemoine: "I was really happy, because our team deserved a try. We have two today (against Fiji). Against England the first thing is to try to recover the players. We play in three days. We're still trying to score tries. We're not coming here to play defensive rugby. We'll try to score, to have the ball and we'll try to make a really tough game on Saturday."

Stuart Lancaster
Stuart Lancaster could resign following a likely victory over Uruguay at the Etihad Stadium Getty

Other fixtures

Prior to England vs Uruguay, Saturday 10 October will also see another heavyweight Pool A clash between Australia and Wales at Twickenham. The losers of that contest will face a quarter-final date against South Africa next week. Elsewhere, Scotland will seek to confirm their place in the last eight against an underwhelming Samoa in Newcastle.