England vs Japan player ratings: Ben Earl dominates as returning Billy Vunipola makes smart appearance

It was far from a vintage performance from Steve Borthwick, who gifted the first of four tries in Nice to Lewis Ludlam.

However, they were not discouraged and Courtney Lawes showed good presence of mind to attack unchallenged when everyone expected a knock-on to be flagged.

Freddie Steward finished well in the corner after a George Ford cross kick, while Joe Marchant scored at the last breath for the bonus point as England remained firmly in control of Pool D and on their way to the quarters of final.

Nick Purewal, rugby correspondent for Standard Sport, was at the Stade de Nice to assess the English players.


Freddie Steward – 6

He did well on his try but couldn’t connect well enough with the rest of the backline in attack.

Jonny May – 6

Conceded a completely unnecessary penalty but atone with several smart breaks in the second half.

Joe Marchant – 6

Nice finish for the bonus point score but still looking to tie this central pair up with Tuilagi.

Manu Tuilagi – 7

Another physical and direct performance to give England fans a taste of his best.


Elliot Daly – 6

He tried his best to add the ball-playing layer to the midfield coming off his wing, but he failed at times.

George Ford – 7

Another almost unparalleled demonstration with the boot, but shifted several times with the ball in hand.

Alex Mitchell – 6

He deviated from his high standards of last week but didn’t let anyone down.


Joe Marler – 6

He performed well and his assist put England on the path to victory.

Jamie George – 7

Very solid in the scrum and lineout, but not at his best with the ball.

Kyle Sinckler – 6

He is still feeling back after a chest injury but has offered several deft link-up touches in midfield.

Maro Itoje – 7

Showing muscle but losing rhythm at points.

Ollie Chessum – 6

It tied a lot of what England did together.

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Courtney Lawes – 7

He threw himself into everything all night and took the lead from the front again

Ben Earl – 8

England’s man of the match was just the latest display of furious, frenetic but controlled physical dominance.

Lewis Ludlam – 7

He did well in his test and justified his selection brilliantly.


Ellis Genge (for Marler, 58) – 7

Momentum and incision were added when England took on Japan at the death.

Will Stuart (for Sinckler, 51) – 7

I consolidated the scrum and kept it tidy elsewhere.

George Martin (for Lawes, 63) – 6

Had a busy period as England sealed victory with bonus points in the closing stages.

Billy Vunipola (for Ludlam, 51) – 7

Added bite and tenacity to England’s carrying game in a clever cameo.


Ben Youngs (for Mitchell, 58) – 7

Pushed the tempo as the match ended and England took the full reward.

Marcus Smith (for Steward, 68) – 6

Always so sharp on the ball without really breaking free.

Ollie Lawrence (for Tuilagi, 68) – 6

Offered the straight line to keep England’s increasingly wide play honest.

standard Sport

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