Gareth Anscombe and Tom Curry suffered injuries just six weeks before the Rugby World Cup starts as an experimental England side prevented Wales from going top of the rankings with a 33-19 win at Twickenham.

Australia's Bledisloe Cup victory on Saturday opened the door for the Six Nations champions to replace New Zealand as the top-ranked side in the world for the first time, but they were denied by a fired-up England.

Wales also have a big concern over the fitness of Anscombe, the fly-half limping off in the first half after damaging his left knee in Alun Wyn Jones' Welsh record 135th Test.

England lost Curry to what appeared to be an arm injury in the first half on the eve of Eddie Jones' squad announcement for the tournament in Japan.

Tries from man of the match Billy Vunipola, Joe Cokanasiga and Luke Cowan-Dickie, 15 points from the boot of captain George Ford and an Elliot Daly drop goal gave England a morale-boosting victory, with debutants Willi Heinz and Lewis Ludlam among those to impress along with the fit-again Anthony Watson.

Gareth Davies scored a superb solo try, while George North and Jones also crossed, but a strong Wales side - who will get the chance to gain revenge in Cardiff next weekend - looked rusty and could not match England's intensity.

Wales did not know what had hit them as England made a blistering start, the brilliant Vunipola crashing over four minutes in with Heinz dictating and the forwards overpowering the Wales pack.

Cokanasiga bulldozed his way over from short range before Davies produced a moment of magic to get a flat Wales side on the board, bursting his way through from the back of a scrum at great speed and capitalising on slack defending to go under the posts.

England lost Curry before Anscombe was helped off in pain and there was more woe for Wales when Ken Owens' poor throw at a lineout sailed over captain Jones, gifting Cowan-Dickie a first Test try.

Ford converted that score just before the break and made it four out of four from the tee with a penalty early in the second half to put England 17 points to the good.

Wales finally found another gear and were rewarded with quickfire scores from North and Jones, but two more Ford penalties and a strike from Daly took the world number one status beyond Wales.

Ruaridh McConnochie will have to wait a little longer for his England debut after a hip injury forced him out against Wales.

The former Sevens star had been set to make his Test bow on the right wing in Sunday's Rugby World Cup warm-up after just a single season in 15-a-side action.

But McConnochie is among three players to miss out with ailments, making room for Joe Cokanasiga, Jonathan Joseph and Lewis Ludlam to come into the team.

Cokanasiga replaces club colleague McConnochie on the wing, while fellow Bath team-mate Joseph - who had not been named in the 23 - plays at outside centre due to Henry Slade's knee problem.

Sam Underhill, another Bath man, has a troublesome toe and makes way, with Tom Curry switching to openside flanker and Ludlam playing blindside.

Courtney Lawes and Manu Tuilagi have joined the matchday squad as replacements.

Revised England XV: Elliot Daly, Joe Cokanasiga, Jonathan Joseph, Piers Francis, Anthony Watson, George Ford (captain), Willi Heinz; Ellis Genge, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Charlie Ewels, Lewis Ludlam, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Jack Singleton, Joe Marler, Harry Williams, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Ben Youngs, Joe Marchant, Manu Tuilagi.

Kieran Read says New Zealand have no concerns that they could be knocked off the top of the rankings this weekend ahead of a blockbuster showdown with Australia.

The All Blacks head into the Bledisloe Cup clash in Perth on Saturday knowing a defeat at Optus Stadium will open the door for Wales to become the top-ranked side in the world.

A win for the Six Nations champions over England on Sunday and a loss for Steve Hansen's side would take Warren Gatland's men to number one.

Captain Read stated that the world champions have not given any thought to the possibility they could be knocked off the top as they prepare for another battle with their fierce trans-Tasman rivals.

The back-row said: "It's not even part of our equation really, to be honest.

"We turn up here to win the game. We'll try and do that again tomorrow. We know it won’t be easy and it never is over here. We’ll put in our best performance."

New Zealand have won 10 of their last 11 Tests against the Wallabies but Read is expecting a big challenge.

"They’ve definitely had the fire in their bellies the last few years." he added.

"We know they will certainly have that again tomorrow night, so we can't just rest on what we've done over those years. It's important we reset and make sure we play as well as we can.

"These games you can't rely on your skills. It's about your mental fortitude and how you turn up and how you want to be physical. It's going to be important for us how we do that tomorrow."

Ruaridh McConnochie and Willi Heinz have been handed England debuts, while Alun Wyn Jones will become Wales' most capped player in the Rugby World Cup warm-up match at Twickenham on Sunday.

Versatile Bath back McConnochie has played only season as a professional in the 15-a-side format but will start on the right wing against the Grand Slam-winners a year after ending his sevens career.

Heinz is to make his Test bow at the age of 32 and the New Zealand-born scrum-half has also been named as a vice-captain alongside Sam Underhill, with George Ford skippering the side.

Anthony Watson gets the nod on the left wing for what will be his first Test appearance since March 2018 after recovering from a serious Achilles injury.

Jack Singleton, Lewis Ludlam and Joe Marchant are set to make their debuts off the bench for Eddie Jones' men.

Wales skipper Jones will make a record 135th Test appearance and a 126th for his country in an experienced team.

Fly-half Gareth Anscombe again partners Gareth Davies, with Dan Biggar having to settle for a place on the bench.

 

England team: Elliot Daly, Ruaridh McConnochie, Henry Slade, Piers Francis, Anthony Watson, George Ford (captain), Willi Heinz; Ellis Genge, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Charlie Ewels, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Jack Singleton, Joe Marler, Harry Williams, George Kruis, Lewis Ludlam, Ben Youngs, Joe Marchant, Joe Cokanasiga.

 

Wales team: Liam Williams, George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams, Gareth Anscombe, Gareth Davies; Nicky Smith, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones (captain) Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty.

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones, Dillon Lewis, Jake Ball, Aaron Shingler, Tomos Williams, Dan Biggar, Owen Watkin.

England coach Eddie Jones has trimmed his squad ahead of the Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Wales, with Ben Te'o and Mike Brown among those dropped.

After a 12-day training camp in Italy, Jones' side begin their World Cup preparations against the Six Nations champions at Twickenham on Sunday.

Te'o, Brown, Alex Dombrandt and Ben Spencer have been cut from the group, while Jack Nowell remains to continue rehabilitation from an injury.

Jones issued a reminder that the players could be recalled at any stage during England's warm-up campaign, which also includes an away game against Wales and meetings with Ireland and Italy.

"We have worked hard and now move into a four-game preparation phase where the development of the team tactically is paramount. We are grateful for the strong opposition to test our game fitness," Jones told England's official website.

"By the time we fly out [to Japan] on the eighth of September we will be ready to win the Rugby World Cup. We are not there yet but we have four games to get ready.

"Players excluded from being involved in this camp are naturally disappointed but may get another opportunity so they must be ready."

 

England squad:

Forwards: Dan Cole, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler, Jack Singleton, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Harry Williams, Mark Wilson.

Backs: Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Piers Francis, Willi Heinz, Jonathan Joseph, Joe Marchant, Jonny May, Ruaridh McConnochie, Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs.

Taulupe Faletau will miss the Rugby World Cup after suffering a clavicle injury in training, Wales have confirmed.

The Bath flanker had been set to be a key player for his country in the showpiece tournament in Japan, which begins on September 20.

Faletau, selected for the British and Irish Lions in 2013 and 2017, had an injury-hit season in 2018-19, missing both the autumn internationals and the Six Nations with a broken arm.

And now the 28-year-old will sit out the World Cup with an injury which will require surgery, with Wales and Bath yet to put a timeframe on his return.

Stuart Hooper, Bath's director of rugby, told the club's official website: "Any time a player misses out on a major competition is hugely disappointing.

"We are all feeling the impact of this news, especially as it follows a number of unfortunate and frustrating injuries for him.

"We will plan and support his recovery, making sure it is the very best for him, in order to maximise his successful return to the game."

Wales face England in a three-match series before taking on Ireland in their final World Cup warm-up match on September 7.

The Six Nations champions open their campaign against Georgia in Tokyo on September 23, with Australia, Fiji and Uruguay also in their pool.

David Brooks will miss the start of the Premier League season due to an ankle injury, Bournemouth have confirmed.

Bournemouth midfielder Brooks, who scored seven Premier League goals after joining from Sheffield United last year, will be out for up to 12 weeks.

Bournemouth said in a statement Brooks sustained ligament damage during Saturday's pre-season friendly against Brentford.

"Following assessment by the club's medical department, Brooks will now miss the opening months of the 2019-20 season," the club said.

The news is also a blow to Wales manager Ryan Giggs, with the 22-year-old having become a key member of the national squad.

Brooks is likely to miss Euro 2020 qualifiers against Azerbaijan, Slovakia and Croatia in the coming months.

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones has signed a contract extension with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) and Ospreys until June 2021.

The 33-year-old lock was named 2019 Six Nations Player of the Championship after leading Wales to their first Grand Slam in seven years – the third of his decorated career.

Jones had been linked with moves to Bath and Bristol but the British and Irish Lion has now provided clarity on his future beyond this year's World Cup.

"After serious consideration and taking stock of all options, it is the right decision for my career at this point in time, along with my personal ambitions on and off the field, my welfare and needs of my family," said Jones on social media.

"I'm grateful to have the opportunity to tell you directly, in particular to the Ospreys supporters and all those who have supported me during my career to date."

Jones has a total of 134 international caps – nine coming for the Lions as a three-time tourist in 2009, 2013 and 2017 – and is 15 shy of breaking the all-time record set by New Zealand great Richie McCaw.

"This announcement is a huge boost for Welsh rugby," said WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips.

"Alun Wyn is hugely respected across the game and I'm delighted he has committed his future here in Wales and that he will be continuing to play for his hometown region.

"The extension allows the WRU and the Ospreys to continue working together with Alun Wyn to ensure he has the very best of environments to thrive in."

Jones will head to Switzerland this week to take part in Wales' first overseas pre-World Cup training camp, while his long-term commitment comes as a boost to Wayne Pivac – the incoming head coach due to take the reins after Japan 2019.

Wales got their 2019 off to a winning start as Ben Woodburn's stoppage-time goal claimed an unconvincing 1-0 friendly victory over Trinidad and Tobago at the Racecourse Ground.

Ryan Giggs made nine changes from the XI that started the 1-0 defeat to Albania in November, with star duo Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey also left out.

And though their absence was felt as Wales' inexperienced line-up toiled for much of Wednesday's clash in Wrexham, Liverpool forward Woodburn was on hand to bundle home in the 92nd minute.

Things could have been different if not for Chris Gunter's goal-line block at the other end, but Wales will be buoyed ahead of their opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia.

Ataulla Guerra re-acquainted himself with Trinidad and Tobago’s national set-up in 2017 after an absence of three years and is now saying he is happy with the way things are going under head coach, Dennis Lawrence. 

Trinidad and Tobago coach Dennis Lawrence is concerned that his team may not be as match sharp as it should be ahead of a friendly international against Wales at the end of this month. 

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