Steve Borthwick has named his side for the first match of England’s summer tour, against Japan. The fixture is effectively a warm-up match for the two-Test series against the All Blacks that follows next month.

England have never lost to Japan and will be looking to avoid any slip-ups in Tokyo despite missing a large number of players through injury or unavailability. 

The last time these two teams met was in the World Cup last year, when England ran out 34-12 winners. 

The added spice for this encounter is the presence of Eddie Jones, the former England boss, as Japan’s head coach. In an interview with Telegraph Sport’s Gavin Mairs, Jones said he “wants to see Steve Borthwick up there sweating, mate”.

Nevertheless, England will expect to continue their perfect record against the Brave Blossoms while giving younger players an opportunity to gain valuable experience and confidence.

Where is Japan vs England?

The Lipovitan D Challenge Cup match (the official name of this fixture) will be held at the National Stadium in Tokyo, the former 2020 Olympic Stadium. 

When is the match?

The game kicks off today (June 22) at 6.50am UK time, which is 2.50pm local time. A reverse fixture is due to be held at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday, November 24.

How do I watch Japan v England?

Controversially, the Japan v England match is not being shown on terrestrial television or on subscription television. Instead, the match will be streamed live on the RugbyPass website and app. 

RugbyPass – which is subsidised by World Rugby – is free, but you will need to sign up on the RugbyPass TV website

After signing up, if you plan to watch the game on a laptop or desktop computer you will be able to stream the action in your browser on the RugbyPass TV website.

Mobile viewers will be able to stream the game through the RugbyPass TV app, which is available on android and Apple devices. 

You could also download the RugbyPass TV app onto your smart TV in order to stream the match into your front room. 

The decision to broadcast the match on RugbyPass was described as “an exciting partnership with World Rugby to enable all fans in the UK to watch this historic match for free”, with younger audiences at the heart of the decision. 

Former England prop Joe Marler labelled the move as “dross” with others criticising World Rugby for neglecting their more established audience. 

What is the England team news?

Steve Borthwick has made four changes from the side which faced France in Paris at the end of the Six Nations, with Marus Smith winning the battle with Fin Smith for the fly-half position. 

Elsewhere, Chandler Cunningham-South makes his first start in the back-row, owing to the absence of Ollie Chessum, while their are also call-ups for Bevan Rodd and Immanuel Feyi-Waboso. 

Fin Smith is named on the bench alongside Tom Curry, who returns to the international fold despite playing just 35 minutes of competitive rugby in the last seven months.

Ben Earl has been training at centre as England evolve plans for a six-two bench split.

What is the Japan team news?

Eddie Jones has named an inexperienced Japan side to face England, including university student Yoshitaka Yazaki, who has not yet played a senior professional game, at full-back.

Jones has also handed debuts to loose-head Takayoshi Mohara, hooker Mamoru Harada and openside Tiennan Costley, with a tight five that with a combined total of just 16 caps.

Despite heralding a new rebuilding phase for Japanese rugby following the World Cup, Jones was bullish about his side’s chances. “We take them to the last moment,” said Jones. “I have a good feeling in my bones.”

George backs ‘incredible’ Sinfield to stay with England

Jamie George, the England captain, says he would love Kevin Sinfield to remain part of England’s coaching staff, describing him as “absolutely invaluable” to the squad.

Telegraph Sport revealed on Wednesday that Sinfield and England were exploring extending the former defence coach’s duties beyond the summer tour to Japan and New Zealand.

The 43-year-old had been due to step down at the end of the tour in July, after stepping back from defensive duties following the addition of Felix Jones, the former Springboks assistant, to the coaching team in January.

However, with England head coach Steve Borthwick keen for him to stay on, it is understood that a new consultancy role is being explored that would allow him devote a couple of days a week when England are in camp to continue his work as a skills and kicking coach and mentor, particularly for the younger players in the squad.

George said he hoped that Sinfield, awarded a CBE earlier this year for his remarkable fund-raising feats for his close friend and MND campaigner Rob Burrow, who died last month, would stay on.

“He is such an incredible coach,” said George. “What an incredible wealth of knowledge he has, both sides of the ball. I don’t think I’ve worked with someone like that. He probably reminds me of Andy Farrell in that respect, in that he’s got such an amazing understanding of our defence, obviously having been our defence coach, and then also the attacking side of the game. That’s why it made him such a good defence coach, as the attack worked so well.

“That transition to being a skills coach now, working with the kickers as well, has been seamless. Also what he’s done is become a mentor to a lot of the younger players. He’s almost become the head coach of the non-23 guys who are running against us. I’ve never really seen a role like that before, but he’s really taken that on and pride in that, working with those guys. It can be very difficult on a tour like this, when you’re not selected when you hope to be selected. They have a conversation with Steve, but Kev is the person who puts the arm around the shoulder.”

George said Sinfield had also been offering him “insights and snippets” for his captaincy.

“His leadership credentials speak for themselves. Little things that he’s said to me this week, and throughout the Six Nations have been absolutely invaluable,” George added.

“I couldn’t be keener for him to stay. The role he’s playing at the minute is absolutely invaluable, and he’s an absolutely incredible man. You don’t need me to tell you that. In terms of the role he’s playing in this team; it’s been amazing to see, and I think that’s a huge part of us being able to kick on.”

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