• Hot-head Delon Armitage

    Venue: Eden Park, Auckland

  • Date: Saturday 1 October
  • Kick-off: 0830 BST/ 2030 NZ
  • Coverage: Scores and reports on BBC website plus live text commentaries on all home nations matches; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; watch live on ITV1/ITV4, live commentary on TalkSport radio

DELON ARMITAGE will start on the left wing for England as one of three changes for the Pool B decider against Scotland at Eden Park on Saturday. The London Irish back three player, who has scored two tries in his last four England games, replaces Sale Sharks wing Mark Cueto.

Team Manager Martin Johnson’s other two changes see Northampton Saints lock Courtney Lawes restored to the second row after a two-game ban and Saracens prop Matt Stevens return at loosehead.

They replace Stade Francais lock Tom Palmer and London Irish prop Alex Corbisiero respectively.

Chris Ashton, who tops the Rugby World Cup 2011 try-scoring charts with five, is one of five players starting their fourth game of the tournament, alongside Northampton Saints team mate Ben Foden, Leicester Tigers pair Manu Tuilagi and Dan Cole and Ricoh Black Rams No.8 James Haskell.

Bath Rugby flanker Lewis Moody again captains the side on the occasion of his 70th cap and fly half Jonny Wilkinson will make his 90th Test appearance for England.

Al Kellock returns to the Scotland XV as captain for their match against England on Saturday. He will skipper the team for the 10th time and has recorded five wins and four defeats when leading the side out. Earlier this year, Kellock captained Scotland against England in the Six Nations Championship at Twickenham, a match which Scotland lost 22-16, their best result against England outside Scotland since 1999.

Kellock’s return is one of six changes to the Scotland team, three in the pack and three in the backs. Euan Murray returns to the front row in place of Geoff Cross after missing last Sunday’s defeat by Argentina due to religious reasons, Kellock replaces Jim Hamilton in the second row and Richie Vernon comes in for Kelly Brown at number 8.

In the backs, scrum half Mike Blair comes in for last weekend’s captain Rory Lawson, Simon Danielli replaces Graeme Morrison with Sean Lamont switching to inside centre after playing left wing last week. The sixrh and final personnel change involves Joe Ansbro returning at outside centre. Nick De Luca drops to the bench.

Chris Paterson will play his 15th Rugby World Cup match for Scotland, setting a new record by going ahead of Doddie Weir who he shared the previous record with.

Scotland need to win the match by more than seven points on Saturday to give themselves a chance of progress to the quarter-finals. Even then the Scots are reliant on Argentina gaining a try scoring bonus point in their match against Georgia on Sunday. Scotland haven’t beaten England by more than seven for 25 years and they haven’t done it outside Scotland since 1983.

England team: B Foden; C Ashton, M Tuilagi, M Tindall, D Armitage; J Wilkinson, B Youngs; M Stevens, S Thompson, D Cole, L Deacon, C Lawes, T Croft, L Moody (capt), J Haskell.

Replacements: D Hartley, A Corbisiero, T Palmer, N Easter, R Wigglesworth, T Flood, M Banahan.

Scotland team: C Paterson; M Evans, J Ansbro, S Lamont, S Danielli; R Jackson, M Blair; A Jacobsen, R Ford, E Murray, R Gray, A Kellock (capt), A Strokosch , J Barclay, R Vernon.

Replacements: S Lawson, A Dickinson, N Hines, R Rennie, C Cusiter, D Parks, N De Luca.

Pool scenario

– England need two points to be sure of progressing to the quarter-finals and that would also guarantee them top spot in the pool.


– England and Scotland have played 128 times with England winning 68, Scotland 42 and there being 18 draws.

– They have met once at the Rugby World Cup with England winning 9-6 in a 1991 semi-final at Murrayfield.

– They have never met at a neutral venue.

– The highest score either team has reached against the other is 43, which England have registered twice in the last 11 years.

– England have won 18 of the last 22 matches between the teams, losing three matches – all by six points – at Murrayfield in 2008, 2006 and 2000. The teams drew 15-15 at Murrayfield in 2010.


– Ranked fourth in the IRB World Rankings, having overtaken France during RWC 2011.

– England are looking for a fourth pool phase win out of four at RWC 2011. They have won all their pool matches at just two previous RWCs – 1995 and 2003. Those competitions ended with England’s worst and best results in the competition – a quarter-final elimination in 1995 and the world title in 2003. Those are also the only World Cups at which England won their first four matches.

– England have not lost a RWC match against European opposition since 1995, when they were beaten by France.

– England have never lost a World Cup match against a team from outside the Tri Nations and Six Nations.

– England coach Martin Johnson holds the record for most consecutive World Cup matches as a player with 18.

– England have allowed their opponents one try in their past five RWC matches combined. That was scored by Georgia’s Dimitri Basilaia on 18 September.

– England scored six tries in their RWC 2011 victory over Georgia and 10 in their win against Romania. It is the first time they have scored five tries or more in successive RWC matches.

– England have had two players sin-binned in the pool stage of a Rugby World Cup for the first time. The two yellow cards equal their team high for a RWC campaign in 1999.

– England have scored 19 RWC drop goals, seven more than South Africa. Scotland’s nine is equal-third.

– As at the beginning of the final weekend of pool matches:

* England have scored 17 tries. Only New Zealand (24) and South Africa (20) have scored more. Seventeen is already more than they scored in the entire pool phase of RWC 2007 (11), but only half the number from the pool phase of RWC 2003 (34).

* England have conceded just one try. Australia and South Africa are the only other teams to equal that. England conceded just two tries in the pool phase of RWC 2003.

* England are the best tackling side at RWC 2011, having missed only 8.1% of their tackles. Scotland are second with 8.4%.

* England have won 10 of their opponents’ 29 lineouts, the best percentage in the competition (35%).

* England have won 33 of their 36 lineouts (92%). Only France are better.

* England have made the second-most clean line breaks at RWC 2011 with 12, two fewer than New Zealand and one more than South Africa and Wales.

* Only Argentina, Namibia and Russia have successfully scored a lower percentage of their penalty attempts than England’s 44% success rate.


– Ninth in the IRB World Rankings, having dropped a place after their loss to Argentina last weekend.

– Have won their fourth match at four of the last five World Cups.

– Have reached the quarter-finals in each of their previous six World Cup appearances. They have been stranded in the last eight on five occasions, including the last four World Cups.

– The best finish by Scotland came in the 1991 World Cup, in which they played five matches at Murrayfield in Edinburgh, before losing the third place play-off match to New Zealand in Cardiff.

– Andy Robinson (ENG) is the first head coach from outside Scotland to lead the Scots in a RWC.

– One of six teams to score 900 points or more at the RWC. They passed the 900 barrier with Chris Paterson’s second-minute penalty against Romania on 10 September.

– Only team to have recorded at least 100 points in the pool phase of the previous six World Cups. Scotland need 39 against England to keep this run going.

– As at the beginning of the final weekend of pool matches, Scotland have converted just one of their tries at RWC 2011, the worst percentage of the 20 teams (25%).

The venue

– Eden Park hosted five matches during RWC 1987, with New Zealand and France winning two matches each and Romania one.

– Eden Park will host 11 matches at RWC 2011, two Pool A matches, one match in each of the other three pools and then two quarter-finals, both semi-finals, the bronze final and the final. Its total of 16 RWC matches will be a record, surpassing Murrayfield’s mark of 13.

– England have played five Tests at Eden Park, all against the All Blacks. Their only win was in 1973, when they kept New Zealand scoreless in the second half to win 16-10.

– Scotland have also played five Tests at Eden Park, all against the All Blacks. They have lost all five, four of them by at least 24 points.

– Both teams will play the remainder of their RWC 2011 matches at Eden Park, should they progress to the quarter-finals.

The line-ups

– Jonny Wilkinson plays his 10th match against Scotland, joining a group of six players headed by former prop Jason Leonard (14), to do so.

– Wilkinson plays his 18th RWC match, more than any other player in New Zealand and equal to his manager Martin Johnson’s total. The only players to have played more RWC matches are Jason Leonard (ENG, 22), George Gregan (AUS, 20) and Mike Catt (ENG, 19).

– Seven of England’s starting XV started the last match between these two teams, in the Six Nations earlier this year. In addition to those seven, Toby Flood, who started the match in March, is a replacement for this match, while Jonny Wilkinson and Tom Croft start Saturday’s match having come on as replacements in March. Flood, Croft and Wilkinson scored all of England’s 22 points in that match.

– Scotland’s starting XV has 581 caps between them, which equals Scotland’s record set in the loss to France in the pool stage of RWC 2003.

– Chris Paterson plays his 15th RWC match for Scotland, setting a new record by surpassing Doddie Weir. Paterson also sets a new Scottish record for matches against England in all competitions by playing in his 12th.

– Eleven of Scotland’s starting XV started the last match between these two teams, including Chris Paterson, Max Evans and Ruaridh Jackson, who scored all of Scotland’s 16 points in that match.