England wins 33-19 to stop Wales going top of rankings

Wales players compete to reach England's Jonathan Joseph, centre, during their International rugby match at Twickenham Stadium in London, Sunday Aug. 11, 2019. (Nigel French/PA via AP)
England's Billy Vunipola, centre, is taken down by Wales players during their International rugby match at Twickenham Stadium in London, Sunday Aug. 11, 2019. (Nigel French/PA via AP)
Wales' George North runs with the ball and is tackled by England's Ellis Genge during their International rugby match at Twickenham Stadium in London, Sunday Aug. 11, 2019. (Nigel French/PA via AP)
England's Willi Heinz runs with the ball against Wales during their International rugby match at Twickenham Stadium in London, Sunday Aug. 11, 2019. (Adam Davy/PA via AP)

LONDON — England ended Wales' 14-match winning run with a comprehensive 33-19 victory at Twickenham on Sunday in a World Cup warmup game and prevented the visitors from replacing New Zealand at the top of the rugby rankings.

Warren Gatland's strongest available Wales team included 13 starters from the Grand Slam-clinching victory over Ireland in March.

England began its World Cup preparations with an experimental team which established a healthy 24-7 lead through tries by Billy Vunipola, Joe Cokanasiga and Luke Cowan-Dickie, and went on to survive touchdowns from George North and Wyn Jones.

George Ford, England captain in the absence of Owen Farrell, finished with 15 points in a perfect afternoon from the tee and there was the successful return from a 17-month Achilles injury layoff for Anthony Watson.

Second-ranked Wales have not won at Twickenham since the last World Cup and never looked like ending that run to spoil the occasion of skipper Alun Wyn Jones becoming his nation's most capped player in his 135th test, including nine British and Irish Lions appearances.

The rivals' first test of the summer was played at a frenetic pace and the physicality took its toll as England's outstanding Tom Curry departed in the first half nursing a damaged shoulder and was followed off by Wales playmaker Gareth Anscombe, who had an issue with his right knee.

Curry's injury was particularly worrying after fellow openside Sam Underhill was withdrawn from the starting XV because of a toe injury.

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