England vs Japan – Rugby World Cup LIVE: Latest scores and updates
18th September 2023

England 3-0 Japan – Rugby World Cup LIVE: George Ford picks up where he left off as he sends over the first three points of the evening

Follow Mail Sport’s live blog for all the latest as England face Japan in their second game of the Rugby World Cup.

Japan substitution (3-0)

By Ryan Walker

It’s an early enforced change for Japan as Masirewa concedes he won’t be able to continue and Lomano Lemecki comes on to replace him.

Steward finds touch from deep (3-0)

By Ryan Walker

The England full-back finds touch from his own half and that puts Japan under pressure from a lineout. Meanwhile there is concern for Masirewa who has gone down holding his thigh.

England take early lead (3-0)

By Ryan Walker

The decision to kick wasn’t well supported by England fans in the ground but it gets early points on the board as Ford easily kicks the penalty,

Ford will kick for the posts (0-0)

By Ryan Walker

England have a few phases after the scrum and get an advantage for offside. Play is then called back and Ford will kick for the points.

Japan concede a clumsy penalty (0-0)

By Ryan Walker

Daly’s kick should be collected comfortably but Masirewa gets it all wrong and knocks the ball on. England win their scrum five metres out.

KICK OFF: Underway in Nice

By Ryan Walker

George Ford gets us started and we are underway in Nice for this Rugby World Cup clash. Stick with us throughout for every big moment.

Empty seats in the stands as players emerge

By Ryan Walker

CHRIS FOY IN NICE: As the teams are coming out, there are quite a lot of empty seats still. Maybe fans are having trouble getting into the stadium, as was the case last week – but there is no way of knowing from inside as it is a sealed arena, with no exterior views.

Japan searching for first-ever win over England

By Ryan Walker

The great news if you’re cheering on England is that Japan have never won this fixture before.

Tonight is the fourt meeting between the two sides and Japan will be hoping to turn the odds on world rugby’s biggest stage.

England ran out 52-13 winners when they last played Japan at Twickenham in 2022.

England's player to watch: George Ford

By Ryan Walker

The England fly-half was instrumental to success against Argentina and will be tasked with grabbing tonight’s match by the scruff of the neck in a similar fashion.

It would be a surprise to see Ford deploy the same drop-kicking tactic tonight but if he is given creative licence then expect fireworks from the fly-half.

15 minutes until kick off

By Ryan Walker

We are just 15 minutes away from kick off in Nice as players finish their warm-ups and head back to the changing rooms. The stadium is filling up nicely and there will be an almighty atmosphere when the players next emerge onto the pitch.

Japanese journalists flock to the Allianz Riviera

By Ryan Walker

NIK SIMON IN NICE: One thing that struck me in the media centre is the number of Japanese journalists who have travelled over.

They have arrived in force, outnumbering the English contingent despite the 14-hour flight. It’s an indication of how much the game’s popularity has grown in Japan after the 2015 and 2019 World Cups.

There will be plenty of fans setting their alarms for 4am Tokyo time to tune in.

Tom Curry serving first of two-match ban

By Ryan Walker

Tom Curry’s red card against Argentina ensures he will play no part tonight as he serves a two-match ban for his tackle on Juan Cruz Mallia.

Curry will miss tonight’s match and the next group game against Chile.

England's long-kicking on show in the warm-up

By Ryan Walker

CHRIS FOY IN NICE: England are warming up here in Nice and they have been practising plenty of long kicks.

Elliot Daly has drilled over a few shots from beyond the halfway line – with room to spare – and Freddie Steward has even joined in with some successful strikes from distance. Head coach Steve Borthwick is observing the forwards, but leaving his assistants to put the players through their paces.

The secret to George Ford's kicking? Watching Roger Federer

By Ryan Walker

NIK SIMON: With the thump of tennis balls providing a steady beat in the background, George Ford is talking about Roger Federer. England moved south this week to the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, where Grand Slam champions are taught all about remaining calm and in control.

‘I’ve been fortunate enough to watch Wimbledon a couple of times and seen some five-set matches,’ says Ford, taking in the surroundings where Serena Williams trained for the best part of a decade.


Kick off less than ONE hour away

By Ryan Walker

Kick off is under one hour away as both teams prepare to lock horns at the Rugby World Cup. Steve Borthwick’s side will wear their black kit for tonight’s clash.

Japan starting XV

By Ryan Walker

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph has also named a strong side to take on England with four changes to his starting team. Kazuki Himeno will captain his first RWC clash while Michael Leitch will become the nation’s most capped World Cup player on his 15th appearance.

STARTING XV: Masirewa; Matsushima, Osada, Nakamura, Naikabula; Matsuda, Nagare; Inagaki, Horie, Gu, Cornelsen, Fakatava, Leitch, Labuschagne, Himeno (capt)

Replacements: Sakate, Millar, Ai Valu, Dearns, Shimokawa, Saito, Riley, Lemeki.

England starting XV

By Ryan Walker

England head coach Steve Borthwick has largely kept the faith from the team that beat Argentina last time out by making three changes with Lewis Ludlam starting at No.8, Ben Earl shifting to openside flanker, and Kyle Sinckler at tighthead.

STARTING XV: Steward; May, Marchant, Tuilagi, Daly; Ford, Mitchell; Marler, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Chessum, Lawes (capt), Earl, Ludlam.

Replacements: Dan, Genge, Stuart, Martin, Vunipola, Youngs, Smith, Lawrence.

Fans arriving ahead of kick off

By Ryan Walker

We are stil over an hour away from kick off at the Allianz Riviera and thousands of supporters are flocking to the stadium ahead of this mouthwatering pool D clash.

Both teams won their opening Rugby World Cup games with Japan currently top of their group after getting bonus point victory over Chile.

Good evening and welcome to the south of France

By Ryan Walker

Good evening and welcome to the Nice stadium for tonight’s Rugby World Cup clash between England and Japan. Kick-off is at 8pm but we have so much to cover before then.


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