Marcus Smith is set to start at full back for England when they take on Chile on Saturday, with Owen Farrell returning at No 10, according to reports.
Captain Farrell had been sitting out the last four games after being shown a red card in a warm-up game for England against Wales, but comes straight back into the fold for Steve Borthwick’s side.
England had won their first two games of the tournament, with George ford playing a prominent role against Argentina in particular, but now drops to the bench.
In England’s opener, Ford kicked all 27 of his side’s points as they secured an important statement victory having come into the tournament in France under heavy pressure following a desperate run of form.
The idea of having the Ford-Farrell axis at 10 and 12 is still something that Borthwick’s coaching staff are thought to be considering, according to the Telegraph, but will only come in the second half.
Marcus Smith will start against Chile at full back after sitting on the bench for the first two games
Steve Borthwick’s side have reportedly been considering experimenting with all three play-maker options
Owen Farrell comes straight back into the side as captain and starting No 10 against Chile
The Chile clash will mark the first time Smith has started a game at full back, either for his club Harlequins or for England, but he has featured their from the bench in the first two matches.
With England having struggled for fluency in attack against both Argentina and Japan, potentially having three fly halves on the field in the second half could see their creativity flourish.
Attack coach Richard Wigglesworth hinted on Monday that England could experiment with their three play-makers in the backroom staff’s tactical plans in France.
‘It’s not unthinkable but it is about what else is around them,’ he said. ‘If we have absolute runners around them and that is their skill set we want to upskill as many guides as possible to see the picture early and be able to execute things.
‘So I don’t think it is unthinkable, but you have to have a balance around them. We also have Elliot Daly who can run and pass as well, but it is making the balance right. If you do that, it is not unthinkable.
‘I also think that we will develop as the tournament goes on. We have been working incredibly hard to get it right.’
Stand-in skipper Courtney Lawes, who had been deputising for the suspended Farrell so far at the tournament, is understood to be rested for the game against Chile in Lille.
Further changes are thought to include Manu Tuilagi and Freddie Steward who has started every one of England’s matches this year, but now makes way for Smith according to reports.
George Ford will reportedly drop to the bench with stand-in skipper Courtney Lawes set to be rested
Flanker Jack Willis and second row David Ribbans are believed to be set for their first starts for England in the third game of a Rugby World Cup.
There had been calls for Ford to keep hold of his place in the side after his starring roles, but Borthwick has seemingly seen fit to reinstate his captain at the nearest opportunity.
Despite the turnaround in playing staff for the upcoming clash, Borthwick’s side remain the overwhelming favourites against tournament debutants Chile.
A win will all but confirm England’s progression to the next round, with just Samoa left to face after a two-week break following Saturday’s clash.