15Elliot Daly, FB
14Anthony Watson, W
13Manu Tuilagi, C
12Owen Farrell, C
11Jonny May, W
10George Ford, FH
9Ben Youngs, SH
1Joe Marler, P
2Jamie George, H
3Kyle Sinckler, P
4Courtney Lawes, L
5Maro Itoje, L
6Tom Curry, FL
7Sam Underhill, FL
8Billy Vunipola, N8
16Luke Cowan-Dickie, R
17Ellis Genge, R
18Dan Cole, R
19George Kruis, R
20Lewis Ludlam, R
21Willi Heinz, R
22Henry Slade, R
23Jonathan Joseph, R

*Players currently on the pitch are shown in bold

Game Info

Venue: Sapporo Dome
6:15 AM, September 22, 2019

Match Commentary

81'+535-3 End of second half
80'Tonga knock on, the game is over and Eddie Jones shakes hands with his coaching staff with a smile on his face. Job done, bonus point earned. For England, it's on to face the USA on Thursday. For Tonga, their task gets no easier -- a meeting with Argentina, semifinalists four years ago, on Saturday.
80'Fair play to Tonga for keeping punting for touch whenever they get a penalty and looking to score a consolation try. They could just as easily take a tap, punt it in the stands and shake hands.
80'Manu Tuilagi named man of the match for his two tries and general sense of being the biggest threat throughout this match. One final handling error squeezed in by England as the clock ticks past the 80th minute. The gong goes simultaneously but we are going to have the scrum regardless.
78'35-3 Conversion - Owen Farrell , England
77'And just like that, England put the blinkers on, focus on the task in hand, and secure the bonus point. Great line break from Joseph and he feeds fellow substitute Luke Cowan-Dickie to rumble over the line. Job very much done, and there can be few complaints about the outcome albeit with some handling errors and general sloppiness.
77'33-3 Try - Luke Cowan-Dickie , England
73'Ah, we have a moment to remember. Anthony Watson makes a superb run, past one, two, countless numbers of Tongan jerseys, with every one bringing a louder roar from the crowd. It looks like England are set to score their bonus-point clinching try in the left corner as the ball is moved across the width of the pitch, but Ford's pass to Daly is slightly off target and straight into touch. Daly didn't give a good angle there, and that could yet prove costly in the grand scheme of this tournament. With France and Argentina also in the same pool, a three-way tie could yet happen and these bonus points might make all the difference.
72'Player substituted - Leva Fifita , Tonga
72'Substitute on - Daniel Faleafa , Tonga
70'England have made 10 handling errors to Tonga's 3. Sure, you have to have the ball to make handling errors, but that's quite a damning stat to accompany this England performance. They've been fine, and done the job, but that's really about it.
68'Player substituted - George Ford , England
68'Substitute on - Jonathan Joseph , England
65'Big old thump to the corner by Morath, the Tongan flyhalf, and Tonga will have an attacking lineout five metres from the England line. They deserve something from this. But Itoje has ripped the ball from them in the rolling maul and ripped their metaphorical hearts out as well. Huge roar from George Ford to celebrate that "win" for the forwards. Scrum England, and the near-clean sheet remains intact.
63'Good hustling from Farrell in the tackle steals the ball from Tonga but then England knock on at the resulting ruck. More sloppiness from England which won't be making Eddie Jones' viewing any more pleasurable.
63'Substitute on - Latu Talakai , Tonga
63'Player substituted - Siegfried Fisi'ihoi , Tonga
61'England down to 14 men at the moment as Henry Slade receives some treatment on his left knee. He's not long on the field, either, having replaced Jonny May on 53 minutes.
61'Player substituted - Sonatane Takulua , Tonga
61'Substitute on - Leon Fukofuka , Tonga
61'Player substituted - Sosefo Sakalia , Tonga
61'Substitute on - Siua Maile , Tonga
58'Substitute on - Nasi Manu , Tonga
58'Player substituted - Maama Vaipulu , Tonga
58'Substitute on - Dan Cole , England
58'Player substituted - Kyle Sinckler , England
58'Player substituted - Jamie George , England
58'Substitute on - Luke Cowan-Dickie , England
58'28-3 Conversion - Owen Farrell , England
57'Ah, finally - something has happened! A rolling maul turns into an absolute stampede and Jamie George is the man to touch the ball down. That drive off the back of a lineout is straight from the training ground, and a nice one to have in the locker for England going through the rest of this tournament.
57'26-3 Try - Jamie George , England
56'Substitute on - George Kruis , England
56'Player substituted - Courtney Lawes , England
56'Player substituted - Ben Youngs , England
56'Substitute on - Willi Heinz , England
55'Substitute on - Lewis Ludlam , England
55'Player substituted - Sam Underhill , England
53'Player substituted - Jonny May , England
53'Substitute on - Henry Slade , England
51'England, finally, making some good ground in the Tongan 22 and they look like they're about to go in, but yet another handling error ends the threat. Lots of TV shots of Eddie Jones looking agitated by this white-line fever that seems to have struck England. Plenty for the England coach to chew over from this opening match so far.
50'Player substituted - Kurt Morath , Tonga
50'Substitute on - James Faiva , Tonga
50'Player substituted - Ben Tameifuna , Tonga
50'Substitute on - Ma'afu Fia , Tonga
50'Substitute on - Ellis Genge , England
50'Player substituted - Joe Marler , England
48'Both teams still settling into this second half, perhaps a little put off by the overwhelming feeling that -- as a contest -- this has already been taking care of. Both sides know there are more crucial games ahead for them so it's excusable that they might be pacing themselves a little.
46'Some big hits in this game, Tuilagi the latest batter into an opponent and draw gasps from the crowd. But the handling errors in contact are also beginning to mount for England -- that will be something that Eddie Jones will want tightened up before big games against France and Argentina in the pool phase.
43'Smooth strike, straight down the middle. Farrell keeps everything progressing nicely for England.
43'21-3 Penalty goal - Owen Farrell , England
41'Early penalty for England, and Tonga continue into the second half as they finished the first -- losing their grip. Farrell is going to have a shot at goal.
41'We are back underway!
41'Substitute on - Nafi Tuitavake , Tonga
41'Player substituted - Atieli Pakalani , Tonga
41'+118-3 End of first half
40'The attack from the lineout amounts to nothing, and a knock on ends the half.

England dominant without being pitch perfect, and Tonga determined without anything to really show for it.
40'Into added time -- which is signified by a gong at this World Cup, a genuinely great touch -- and Tonga will have the last attack of this half. Penalty at halfway for them and they are allowed to kick for touch and get the lineout deep inside England territory.
40'Referee reviewing an incident -- Watson tackled after dropping the ball by Sione Kalamafoni, and an issue that has been bubbling along in this World Cup so far, the tackle height, might have its first card. Nope, the referee has judged that there was no foul play because Kalamafoni couldn't have done much else in the situation and also attempted to wrap up properly. Good decision, but also absolutely worth reviewing.
40'18-3 Start of second half
39'England have taken control of this game now. After a tight opening quarter, Tonga are going to struggle to keep pace from this point forward. And England know it. Still, they could do with some better handling and sharper passing at times, as better teams than Tonga would punish them for some of the sloppiness in midfield.
37'Farrell punts it over the bar for three points. Easy.
37'18-3 Penalty goal - Owen Farrell , England
36'The referee's onfield decision is no try, that Tonga had put a hand down on it and grounded in their own in-goal area. But it turns out Fisi'hoi, the Tongan prop, has carried it backwards while on the ground in the ruck, so it's a penalty for being off feet in the ruck, and England will have a decision to make again. This time they'll take the points.
34'Tonga having to defend like demons on their own line. Phase after phase of pressure and burrowing forward by England. Now they give it some room but Farrell puts it behind Daly and they'll go back for a penalty. It's taken quickly and now we're up to the TMO -- looks like Tonga have been a bit sloppy there and allowed England to steal a try when they should have had the turnover ball in the ruck.
34'Tonga's resistance is fading. They're pinged for holding on in the ruck, and it's a penalty in front of the posts. Farrell and Ford discuss next steps. They go for touch. Time to go for some pre-halftime tries, they think.
33'15-3 Conversion - Owen Farrell , England
31'That's what can happen. Daly does some nice work at the back and releases Jonny May. We said he was a threat and he makes a fabulous break down the left and he perfectly times his pass inside to Tuilagi, who does well to handle a tricky ball, gathers and charges over for his second try of the match.
31'13-3 Try - Manu Tuilagi , England
30'England try to go quickly and short and Tonga are wide awake to it, forcing Jamie George into touch and taking back possession. Great awareness.
29'Tonga pinged at the breakdown for not rolling away. Farrell boots from the halfway line deep into Tongan territory. This is a good chance to extend the lead.
27'Nope, a slight fade on that right-footed kick and it drifts wide of the right upright. England off the hook, and especially Itoje, who would have been firmly in Jones' sights at halftime for a talking to.
26'Penalty against Maro Itoje, and Eddie Jones is livid with his lock for that. Tonga aren't being easily discouraged here. Takulua with his second attempt from the tee.
25'Farrell misses the conversion from out on the right. The lead remains five points. Tuilagi broke three or four tackles to get that ball over the line, ferocious power from the England centre.
24'Try! Tuilagi! There wasn't anything that said it WASN'T a try, but it was one of those where the onfield decision made all the difference, as the video also didn't show anything that said it WAS a try. Big difference of the onfield perspective that a referee can find when he's up, close and personal.
24'8-3 Try - Manu Tuilagi , England
23'England put-in at the scrum five. The danger most definitely not over yet for Tonga. Nice move off quick ball from the scrum, and Tuilagi looks like he might be over. But again Tongan bodies swarm all over the grounding, and it's going up to the TMO again. This time, the referee adjudicates that the ball was grounded and so the onfield decision is a try. Can the TMO find anything that proves otherwise?
22'Elliot Daly gets the chance to run from deep as Morath's high kick drifts too far. And Daly takes full advantage, getting deep into Tongan territory. England trying to build some phase ball in the Tongan 22, but some excellent hounding off the back of the ruck puts them back on their heels. But they come again, and suddenly Sam Underhill is pummelling towards the Tongan line. Is he over? The crowd think so, but the referee wants to refer that to the TMO. Onfield decision is no try, as there was no clear view of the grounding of the ball over the line. That's not going to be a try, there's no grounding there and it's going to be a scrum.
20'A quarter of the way into this match, and Tonga have more than held their own so far. England seemingly are aware that it's going to take some patience to break down their opponents. But it's not coming quickly, that's for sure.
19'Sensible defensive lineout from Tonga, keeping things tight after the shambles of their previous attacking effort. And then hands in the ruck from Courtney Lawes gives Tonga a welcome penalty. They'll clear their lines and we'll go again.
18'Tonga lose their own lineout deep in England's half, and for the first time England can spread it properly across their backs. Tonga regroup and Farrell opts for distance, with a wonderful kick deep into the Tonga 22. Great work from Farrell.
16'More "oohs" and "aahs" as an England trio descend on Takulua, Tuilagi the main pursuant, and the Tongan scrumhalf takes some punishment when catching the box kick. Cripes. If Tuilagi times that even slightly wrong, he's seeing a card of some colour. But he didn't and he won't.
15'3-3 Penalty goal - Sonatane Takulua , Tonga
14'And in the hubbub after that hit, Tonga were awarded a penalty. Sonatane Takulua, the Tongan scrumhalf, lines up the kick. It's from an angle on the right, perhaps 35 metres out. Not an easy one, but certainly worth a pop. Zinger. Straight over. Tonga are level.
12'Oohs drift round the stadium as Tonga flanker Zane Kapeli absolutely dismantles Billy Vunipola. You read that right. Billy Vunipola. The Tongan bench is up, roaring at the brilliance and ferocity of that hit. Billy V has a look on his face that suggests that has never, ever happened to him before.
11'Over it goes, 3-0 England and a steady start from the overwhelming favourites for this match.
11'3-0 Penalty goal - Owen Farrell , England
9'England making some early errors, the latest from Tom Curry as he mishandles a fairly simple pass and a promising move breaks down. But the play goes back for a penalty for offside against Tonga, and Owen Farrell will have his first shot at goal in the tournament.
7'And just like that, two sharp passes and England are deep into Tongan territory. Crossfield kick by Ford intended for Anthony Watson, but he can't come down cleanly with the ball. Knock on, scrum Tonga, but very interesting to see Jonny May making such great inroads down the left flank, just as he did early in so many of England's games in the Six Nations. He's a threat, no question.
6'Tonga looking pretty assured so far, and a lovely kick by flyhalf Kurt Morath bounces into touch inside the England half. The longer that Tonga can keep this tight, the more chance they'll have of causing some problems.
3'An early foray for Ben Tameifuna - nicknamed The Wardrobe. He is quite the unit, and it takes two England tacklers to bring him down. Still, Tonga can't recycle the ball and England will have a scrum just inside their own half.
1'We are underway!
1'After the anthems, and before kick-off, we will have the Tongan haka. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, England rugby fans' song of choice, rings round as a backdrop, then gives way to the fierce challenge being laid down by the Pacific Islanders.
1'Hello and welcome to ESPN's live coverage of England's opening match of the Rugby World Cup, against Tonga in the impressive Sapporo Dome.

The teams are on their way out to a cacophony of noise, drums, music and general excitement. It would be one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history if Tonga were to upset England here today, but England will be careful to make a strong start in a desperately difficult group that includes France and Argentina.
1'0-0 Start of first half

Rugby World Cup 2019 News