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England vs Tonga, Rugby World Cup 2019: What time is kick-off tomorrow, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?

Pearce Bates
Owen Farrell and George Ford celebrate England's warm-up win over Italy - now it's time for the real thing  - REUTERS

What is it?

England v Tonga in the Rugby World CupEngland's first game in Japan as they begin their bid to qualify from Pool C. Other teams in their pool include Argentina, France and the USA. 

When is it?

Sunday 22nd September. It will be played in Sapporo at the Sapporo Dome on the Hokkaido Island of Japan.

What time is kick-off?

Kick-off for this game is at 11.15am BST, 7.15pm in Japan.

What TV channel is it on?

This one will be broadcast on ITV, with the replays and a live stream available on the ITV Hub. Alternatively, you can follow all the action here with Telegraph Sport.

What is the latest team news?

England

 

England will launch their World Cup quest with all guns blazing after naming their strongest available side for Sunday's clash with Tonga at the Sapporo Dome.

Coach Eddie Jones has reverted almost entirely to the XV that sent Ireland spinning to a record defeat at Twickenham last month, with only Joe Cokanasiga and George Kruis missing.

The midfield that engineered a 57-15 victory that day is back with George Ford picked at fly-half and playing inside a centre duo of captain Owen Farrell and Manu Tuilagi.

Tonga

Tonga qualified through their second place finish behind Fiji in the Pacific Tri-Nations. They come into the competition with momentum after defeating the Fijians in June and beating the French Barbarians more recently after consecutive defeats to Wales and Georgia. Their squad includes the likes of scrum-half Sonatane Takulua and star full-back Telusa Veainu.

Their coach Toutai Kefu was born in Tonga but made 60 caps for Australia during his playing career. He took charge of the Tongan national team shortly following the 2015 World Cup. Their most recent result was a crushing 92-7 defeat to New Zealand.

Team: 15-David Halaifonua, 14-Atieli Pakalani, 13-Siale Piutau, 12-Cooper Vuna, 11-Viliami Lolohea, 10-Kurt Morath, 9-Sonatane Takulua, 8-Maama Vaipulu, 7-Fotu Lokotui, 6-Sione Kalamafoni, 5-Leva Fifita, 4-Sam Lousi, 3-Ben Tameifuna, 2-Sosefo Sakalia, 1-Siegfried Fisiihoi 

What is their head-to-head record?

The historical record for this match is one-sided, with England having won both of their previous games against the Tongans. England's largest scoreline against them was 101-10 in October 1999. 

What are they saying?

England's Eddie Jones:

"We are excited to arrive in Japan, it is a great honour and privilege to represent England and we are looking forward to the tournament," said Jones upon arrival at Narita International Airport.

"This is a unique World Cup. It's the first time in a tier-two nation so our ability to adapt quickly will be imperative.

"Every one of the 20 teams goes into the World Cup with the target of being at their best. We think we have prepared well so we have put ourselves in a good position."

What are the betting odds?

  • England to win: 1/100
  • Draw: 100/1
  • Tonga to win: 40/1

What is our prediction?

A win with plenty to spare should be the goal for England as they begin their Rugby World Cup campaign. Read our expert predictions for the tournament.

Predicted Score: England 45 Tonga 9