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Hartley retained as England hooker and captain in Pumas test

LONDON (AP) England has stuck by Dylan Hartley as the starting hooker and rested Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje for their rugby test against Argentina at Twickenham on Saturday.

Elliot Daly and Anthony Watson are on the wings after Jonny May failed to recover from a hamstring strain.

Coach Eddie Jones made his preference for Hartley clear as the starting hooker and captain, ahead of reserve Jamie George, who started all three British and Irish Lions tests against the All Blacks. Hartley wasn’t picked for the tour.

Jones previously indicated he would stand down some of his Lions, and chose on Thursday to omit Farrell and Itoje from the matchday 23.

Henry Slade replaces Farrell at inside center, holding off the challenge of Alex Lozowski who is named on the bench, and George Kruis and Courtney Lawes are paired at lock.

The openside duel has been won by Sam Underhill with his fellow rookie Tom Curry in the reserves.

Daly was expected to miss England’s first two tests of the month against the Pumas and Wallabies because of knee ligament damage, but he has been passed fit.

Winger Semesa Rokoduguni, alongside May the English Premiership’s most potent finisher, features on the bench having been jettisoned by Jones a year ago when he made his only previous appearance for England.

Argentina names its side later Thursday.

England: Mike Brown, Anthony Watson, Jamie Joseph, Henry Slade, Elliot Daly, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Nathan Hughes, Sam Underhill, Chris Robshaw, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Dan Cole, Dylan Hartley (captain), Malo Vunipola. Reserves: Jamie George, Ellis Genge, Harry Williams, Joe Launchbury, Tom Curry, Danny Care, Alex Lozowski, Semesa Rokoduguni.

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