'Desperate' Farrell captains England against Chile on return from ban
Fly-half Owen Farrell said on Thursday he was "desperate" to play in the Rugby World Cup after being named as captain on his return from a ban for this weekend's pool game with Chile.
Farrell, 31, who has been suspended since last month's warm-up victory over Wales, is one of 12 changes head coach Steve Borthwick has made for Saturday's game in Lille as England seek a third Pool D win in a row.
"It's been tough-ish not playing but it's been brilliant to see what the boys have been doing on the pitch and I can't wait to be part of that," Farrell told reporters.
"We want to kick on and I'm desperate to be a part of it," he added at the prospect of featuring in a third World Cup.
Saracens playmaker Farrell wins his 108th cap by replacing the in-form George Ford for England with Marcus Smith starting at full-back.
"We are all tremendously excited to see our captain on the grass on Saturday," head coach Steve Borthwick said.
"He's been an incredible leader even without playing.
"He's been a role model on the training filed and off it," he added.
- Gamebreaker Smith -
It will be the first time in his career that Harlequins' Smith, 24, has started at full-back for either club or country.
"He has the ability to break things open, to control games, to do the right things," Farrell said.
"Not many can go from club, European rugby to the international stage.
"I'm sure he will keep getting better and better at being himself.
"I can't speak highly enough of Marcus," he added.
Elliot Daly moves to centre from the No. 15 shirt, Lewis Ludlam is now at No. 8 and tight-head prop Kyle Sinckler are the three players to keep their spot.
Ford is named on the bench along with four fellow starters -- prop Joe Marler, lock Ollie Chessum, back-rower Ben Earl and centre Joe Marchant -- from last Sunday's victory over Japan.
On their first participation in a Rugby World Cup, Chile have been roundly beaten by Japan and Samoa but have shown fighting qualities.
"In terms of Chile, we have seen a committed team," Borthwick said.
"They have players with pace and when they move with the ball in possession they try to keep that ball alive.
"They pose a danger in that sense. It means we have to defend very well and give them no space," he added.
England end their group campaign by facing Samoa in Lille on October 7.
Marcus Smith; Henry Arundell, Elliot Daly, Ollie Lawrence, Max Malins; Owen Farrell (capt), Danny Care; Billy Vunipola, Jack Willis, Lewis Ludlam; George Martin, David Ribbans; Kyle Sinckler, Theo Dan, Bevan Rodd
Replacements: Jack Walker, Joe Marler, Will Stuart, Ollie Chessum, Ben Earl, Ben Youngs, George Ford, Joe Marchant
Head coach: Steve Borthwick (ENG)
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