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Marcus Smith starts as England full-back for first time against Chile

Harlequins fly-half Smith starts in the number 15 jersey for the first time having appeared as a replacement in the previous four Tests.

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Marcus Smith will provide a cutting edge from full-back as England look to give their attack lift off in their World Cup clash with Chile in Lille.

Harlequins fly-half Smith starts in the number 15 jersey for the first time having appeared as a replacement in the previous four Tests, providing a lively counter-attacking threat and extra playmaking option.

On each occasion his arrival acted as a catalyst for England with the ball in hand, particularly in Sunday’s 34-12 victory over Japan.

Owen Farrell returns from suspension to lead the team at fly-half as Steve Borthwick makes 12 changes in personnel for the clash against the lowest-ranked side in Pool D at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Saturday.

Borthwick has taken the opportunity to rest the bulk of his frontline stars such as stand-in skipper Courtney Lawes, full-back Freddie Steward, hooker Jamie George and centre Manu Tuilagi.

However, George Ford has not been given the weekend off after being picked on the bench, raising the prospect that three players whose primary position is 10 could be on the field at the same time.

At some point in the second half, Farrell and Ford are expected to reprise the playmaking axis that served England well under Eddie Jones until Ford fell out of favour.

Smith has come on at full-back in the last four Tests
Smith has come on at full-back in the last four Tests (David Davies/PA)

Chile are ranked 22nd in the world and offer the scope to experiment as well as rest key personnel with tougher assignments against Samoa on October 7 and a potential quarter-final to come.

Henry Arundell and Max Malins form the wings, while Ollie Lawrence and Elliot Daly are paired together in a classic centre pairing that mixes ball-carrying clout and dynamic running skills.

Only prop Kyle Sinckler and flanker Lewis Ludlam remain from the pack that overran Japan, with hooker Theo Dan and prop Bevan Rodd present in a raw-looking front row.

“One of the many great things about the World Cup is that the tournament provides an excellent opportunity to play against teams that we rarely have a chance to see. It is for that reason that we are particularly looking forward to testing ourselves against Chile on Saturday,” Borthwick said.

“Having watched our next opponent closely, we know that we will have to prepare and play well against a committed Chile team.

“As we head to the next round, it is only right that I once again pay tribute to our excellent supporters who I know will be right behind us in Lille this weekend.”

Captain Owen Farrell returns from suspension at fly-half
Captain Owen Farrell returns from suspension at fly-half (Mike Egerton/PA)

While there are a host of new faces present, all eyes will be focused on how Smith performs when given more than a cameo role at full-back.

Although unlikely to start in the pressure-cooker matches due to his inexperience in the position, Borthwick appears to have found an important role for one of the most exciting talents in English rugby.

It is also a crucial match for Farrell, who needs minutes on the field after making his most recent appearance against Wales on August 12 when he was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Taine Basham.

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