Jones hails England captain Farrell's 'unbelievable' will to win

England coach Eddie Jones lauded Owen Farrell's "unbelievable desire" to win after restoring the centre to the captaincy for Sunday's match against Argentina at Twickenham.

It will be the first time Farrell has led England since a November 2021 match against Australia, when he suffered an ankle injury.

He then sustained another ankle injury that kept him out of the 2022 Six Nations, with Courtney Lawes and Tom Curry leading England in the championship.

But back-row Lawes, England's skipper during a 2-1 series win in Australia in July, during which Farrell returned to the ranks, has been ruled out of this weekend's match with concussion.

Farrell has been passed fit following a concussion suffered playing for Saracens and takes his place in an England midfield featuring fly-half Marcus Smith and dynamic outside centre Manu Tuilagi.

"Having coached for a while at the top level, I don't think I've met a player with more competitive spirit than Owen," Jones said at England's training base on Friday.

"There's been a few good ones and certainly he would be in the top three," the Australian added. "He has an unbelievable desire to win, leads from the front and brings people with him.

"George Gregan (Australia) and John Smit (South Africa) weren't bad either."

England are in the same pool as Argentina at next year's Rugby World Cup in France and Jones has personal experience against the Pumas stretching back over two decades.

"The first time I coached against Argentina was in 2001 at the River Plate stadium, which was an exceptional experience," he said.

He added: "Having coached against them with England, it's always a tough, physical contest. They've always prided themselves on their scrum, but they come through their hooker in the scrum and with Julian Montoya there they'll be coming through him."

Argentina are now coached by Michael Cheika, a former team-mate of Jones at Sydney club Randwick, who led the Pumas to a first-ever win over the All Blacks on New Zealand soil in August.

"They've gone back to that more Argentinian style of play," said Jones. "Having that experience of playing Super Rugby probably changed the way they played for a little bit of time, they became a ball-movement team.

"Now they're a very physical, set-piece team and I know Cheik wants them to be like that and he understands their mentality really well."

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