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England call up Burgess but drop Ford

Ford has given solid performances in early games of the tournament. Credit: David Davies/PA

It's hard to say which of the two decisions is the more controversial but England Head Coach, Stuart Lancaster, has decided to drop Bath fly-half George Ford to the bench for Saturday's world cup match against Wales and call-up Sam Burgess.

Ford has become the linchpin of England's back line in recent months - lauded for his attacking nous and creative vision. Yet he will be replaced in the starting XV by Owen Farrell for the crunch showdown at Twickenham.

Rumours of the move have received a media backlash in the last 24 hours after solid showings from Ford in the opening game against Fiji and the tournament warm-up games.

George Ford and Sam Burgess (right) at a training session. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Meanwhile, Ford's Bath team mate, rugby league convert Sam Burgess, will start at centre despite only having played 112 minutes of international rugby union.

The final change to the starting line-up sees Gloucester forward replaced at number eight by Billy Vunipola after he lost his battle to recover from a knee injury.

Jonny May and Anthony Watson retain their starting berths, while Ford is joined on the substitute bench by Rob Webber.

Slammin' Sam could start in England's team against Wales

England's Sam Burgess during the opening Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham Stadium Credit: PA: David Davies

Bath rugby player Sam Burgess could be in the starting line up for England's world cup match against Wales on Saturday (Sept 26th).

Burgess came on in England's opening game against Fiji and made an impressive impact against the physical side.

We caught up with Sam after the match.


Tonga's rugby team welcomed in Cheltenham

Tonga team welcomed in Cheltenham Credit: ITV News

The Tonga Rugby World Cup 2015 team have been welcomed in Cheltenham in a ceremony at the Town Hall.

Members of the squad performed the Tongan rugby dance to a captive audience.

The Tonga team will be using Cheltenham RFC as its training base throughout the Rugby World Cup which starts next week.

Sione Kalamafoni plays for Tonga and the Gloucester rugby team.

100 days to go until the Rugby World Cup

Gloucester is a host city for the Rugby World Cup 2015 Credit: England Rugby 2015

It's 100 days to go until the start of the Rugby World Cup 2015. Kingsholm Stadium in Gloucester is one of 13 match venues.

To mark the countdown in the city local schools, clubs, and community groups allocated some of the 500 tickets available to Gloucester City Council as a host city.

It’s exciting that we are only 100 days away from the kick off of the Rugby World Cup 2015.

These 500 tickets give the opportunity for local groups to witness world class Rugby up close and personal.

It’s a great gesture that really embraces the spirit of bringing people and nations together through this fantastic spectacle of sport.

– Cllr Paul James, Leader Gloucester City Council

Gloucester will get an official Fanzone for the upcoming Rugby World Cup. Gloucester Quays will be open for 11 days to allow supporters to share the World Cup experience.

As well as the 100 day countdown to the start of the Tournament, the Webb Ellis Cup starts its journey around the UK and Ireland as part of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour.

Bath begin their journey ahead of their biggest game in a decade

Bath Rugby's squad are on the road to London this evening ahead of their biggest game in a decade.

Mike Ford's men take on Saracens tomorrow in the Premiership Final at Twickenham and 80,000 supporters are expected to make the journey to watch them try to become league champions.

Here's what Head Coach Mike Ford had to say.

Winning is the most important thing, I think you know you dont get to these finals just to lose you know we've sacrificed all these stuff all year all these fitness sessions on a tuesday in the rain and stuff like that to get to these finals and to be able to win them you know. you want to go home with a gold medal round your neck

– Anthony Watson, Bath player

It's been a long journey for Bath who last reached the final in 2004 only to lose to Wasps. Bob Crampton's been looking through the archive to see what lessons Bath can take into tomorrow's showdown

Bristol Rugby in the first leg of Championship play-off semi-finals

Bristol Rugby start their final push for promotion with their Championship play-off semi-finals tomorrow.

Bristol finished top of the table after only losing one match all season and now face a two-legged semi final against Rotherham, starting at Ashton Gate.

Andy Robinson Director of Rugby at Bristol says the team still needs to perform well over the next few weeks.

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