WARRINGTON'S Alex Mitchell will start England's Rugby Union World Cup quarter-final against Samoa.

For the fourth game of five in this tournament, the former Lymm Rugby Club scrum-half and Lymm High School student will wear the No9 shirt as England bid to overhaul Fiji at Stade de Marseille on Sunday to reach next weekend's semi-finals.

The Northampton Saints star will be partnered at fly-half by Owen Farrell, son of former Wigan and Great Britain forward Andy Farrell who is now coach of the Ireland rugby union team that will also feature in this weekend's quarter-finals against New Zealand.

Farrell will captain a starting XV with two changes to the side that defeated Samoa 18-17 in the final game of the pool stages in Lille last weekend.

“The knockout stages of any Rugby World Cup are always full of excitement and keen anticipation for our supporters both at home and here in France. This will be no different. The players cannot wait for this Sunday’s quarter-final against Fiji,” said England head coach Steve Borthwick.

“Everyone knows just what an unpredictably dangerous opposition Fiji can be. However, we have shown in the group stages how we can win games, and we will be calling on that experience and determination to ensure we carry on our journey.

“We are very much looking forward to returning to the special atmosphere of the Stade de Marseille, where we started our campaign in September with a win against Argentina. I have said it before, but it is right that I say it again, our supporters contributed to a very special night on that occasion, and I have no doubt it will be another memorable evening this Sunday.”

ENGLAND v FIJI, Sunday 15 October 2023, Stade de Marseille, Kick-off: 5pm (local time):

15. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 28 caps).

14. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 76 caps).

13. Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 23 caps).

12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 56 caps).

11. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 62 caps).

10. Owen Farrell – captain (Saracens, 109 caps).

9. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 9 caps).

1. Ellis Genge – vice-captain (Bristol Bears, 55 caps).

2. Jamie George (Saracens, 82 caps).

3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 104 caps).

4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 73 caps).

5. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 15 caps).

6. Courtney Lawes – vice-captain (Northampton Saints, 103 caps).

7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 47 caps).

8. Ben Earl (Saracens, 22 caps).


16. Theo Dan (Saracens, 6 caps).

17. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 86 caps).

18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 66 caps).

19. George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 7 caps).

20. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 73 caps).

21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 93 caps).

22. George Ford – vice-captain (Sale Sharks, 89 caps).

23. Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 18 caps).