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England

England step up preparations for Rugby World Cup final against South Africa as injury replacement Ben Spencer trains with squad for the first time in Japan

  • England take on South Africa in the Rugby World Cup final on Saturday
  • Tuesday was the first time England have trained since beating New Zealand
  • Ben Spencer has joined the squad as an injury replacement for Willi Heinz 
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Eddie Jones’s England squad returned to training on Tuesday ahead of the biggest match of their lives.

England reached the World Cup final on Saturday – the first Red Rose team to do so since 2007 – with a memorable win over holders and favourites New Zealand.

And this Saturday they will look to become the first England team to win the World Cup since 2003, while also avenging the 2007 defeat by South Africa in the final.

England's forwards are all smiles as they train in Tokyo on Tuesday ahead of the final

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England’s forwards are all smiles as they train in Tokyo on Tuesday ahead of the final

Owen Farrell (left) and Jonny May (right) both sustained injuries in the win over New Zealand

Owen Farrell (left) and Jonny May (right) both sustained injuries in the win over New Zealand

Owen Farrell (left) and Jonny May (right) both sustained injuries in the win over New Zealand

Eddie Jones watches on as his side train ahead of the World Cup final against South Africa

Eddie Jones watches on as his side train ahead of the World Cup final against South Africa

Eddie Jones watches on as his side train ahead of the World Cup final against South Africa

England’s dismantling of the All Blacks makes them favourites to lift the World Cup against a South Africa side who edged past Wales on Sunday.

Having had Sunday and Monday off to recuperate, Jones put his players through their paces in Tokyo on Tuesday morning ahead of the final in Yokohama.

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Jonny May and Owen Farrell were fit to train having both picked up knocks in the win over New Zealand, while new arrival Ben Spencer joined the squad. 

Ben Spencer warms up after joining the squad as an injury replacement for Willi Heinz

Ben Spencer warms up after joining the squad as an injury replacement for Willi Heinz

Ben Spencer warms up after joining the squad as an injury replacement for Willi Heinz

Captain Farrell chats with Jones as England begin to devise their plan to beat the Springboks

Captain Farrell chats with Jones as England begin to devise their plan to beat the Springboks

Captain Farrell chats with Jones as England begin to devise their plan to beat the Springboks

Jones smiles as he chats to attack coach Scott Wisematel while his team gather in a huddle
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Jones smiles as he chats to attack coach Scott Wisematel while his team gather in a huddle

Jones smiles as he chats to attack coach Scott Wisematel while his team gather in a huddle

George Ford (left) and Elliot Daly (right) go through a training drill

George Ford (left) and Elliot Daly (right) go through a training drill

George Ford (left) and Elliot Daly (right) go through a training drill

Spencer has been called up as an injury replacement for Willi Heinz and will go straight into the squad with Ben Youngs’ the only other scrum-half available to Jones.

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‘It’s a great opportunity for the kid,’ Jones said of Spencer on Monday. ‘He’s excited about it.

‘He’s been in and around the squad for the last couple of years so he knows the game, he knows the players. He is a fit guy and he’s keen to rip in straight away. That’s what you want. We always said to those guys outside the 31 that they need to be ready — and he is ready to go.’