Matty Ashton at the double as England seal series win over Tonga

Fresh from their opening victory at St Helens, England looked intent on putting the series to bed from the outset and had a two-try lead thanks to a pair of Ashton tries without reply in the first period.

Harry Smith’s two penalties extended the score to 14 before Toluta’u Koula scored Tonga’s solitary try of the afternoon, which was not enough to stop England from gaining an unassailable 2-0 series lead.

England 22-18 Tonga: Hosts hold off dogged Pacific islanders to win Test series opener

Tom Johnstone scored twice in the second period following first-half scores from Toby King and debutant Mikey Lewis.

Tonga showed they will be no pushovers as the first Pacific island nation to tour England, leading early on through Starford Toa and Tyson Frizell.

Tolutau Koula added a late score for a grandstand finish, but England held on.

The series continues in Huddersfield on 28 October, before concluding in Leeds the following weekend.

Springboks camp 'not aware' of any Mbonambi comment

Curry accused the South African hooker of calling him a ‘white ****’ during the Springboks’ 16-15 win in the Rugby World Cup semi-final in Paris last night.

Curry approached referee Ben O’Keeffe regarding the alleged slur and the exchange was picked up on the match-day ref mic and is being reported on.

Assistant coach Deon Davids has denied knowledge of the incident when quizzed by reporters this Sunday.

“I am not aware of any comment, it was never discussed. I don’t know,” said Davids.

'I don't feel like they beat us': Tonga lament mistakes in first Test defeat

Other matches can’t provide the dramatic tension that this centuries-old system does: the same players representing the same teams facing off again in a week with new gripes and feuds to sort out.

“We lost the game ourselves; I don’t feel like they beat us.”

Tonga’s new captain Addin Fonua-Blake gave this first-ever three-game series in England involving a tier two nation its first Test series narrative with that quote - along with those of his coach, Kristian Woolf, following a 22-18 English victory at Totally Wicked Stadium.

Flying Fijians go out fighting

Fiji scored two successive tries when they were 14 points down to lock the game up at 24-all inside the last 10 minutes.

The national side had a chance to score a winner with about five minutes extra being played but they failed to look after the ball when it mattered most.

Discipline proved to be Fiji’s downfall with England flyhalf Owen Farrell kicking five penalties.

The thousands of England fans voices failed to deter the 15 Fijians on the pitch.

Farrell registered the first points with a penalty in the 10th minute.

'La Machine' a target for England

The Naitasiri man is a threat at the breakdowns in this World Cup and this is one of the reasons England coach Steve Borthwick will try to minimize the involvement of the Fiji Water Flying Fijians loose forwards.

However, Botia is not taking it as a compliment but says he looks forward to the match.

“I heard what they said and some people asked me the same question as well so I understand what they saw so it’s something to compete so I’ll see what they have.”

'We want to put shots in': England set to fight Samoan fire with fire

With a quarter-final on the horizon in Marseille on October 15, there might be a temptation for the already qualified English to sit back and let their final Pool D game unfold without fighting fully in the collisions.

However, assistant coach Wigglesworth has explained that England won’t shy away from confrontation despite the run that saw them suffer three red cards in four matches, including the dismissal of Tom Curry less than three minutes into the Rugby World Cup opener versus Argentina on September 9.

Another massive England blow as Anthony Watson ruled out of World Cup

In the week Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola were issued with bans that rule them out of the critical opener against Argentina on September 9 in Marseille, Steve Borthwick has now lost a first-choice wing.

Watson sustained the damage in last Saturday’s 29-10 rout by Ireland and has been replaced in the 33-man World Cup squad by Jonny May, who starts Saturday’s Summer Nations Series clash with Fiji.

Seven changes for Fiji whose midfield combo is one not to be missed

Simon Raiwalui has now rung the alterations for their final Summer Nations Series match ahead of next month’s finals campaign which begins with their September 10 meeting with Wales in Bordeaux.

Three changes are in the backline with Ilaisa Droasese in for Sireli Maqala at full-back, Selesitino Ravutaumada on the right wing for Jiuta Wainiqolo and skipper Waisea Nayacalevu named at outside centre for Iosefo Masi.

England considering a brand-new midfield combination for Tuilagi

Manu Tuilagi has had numerous partners at centre during his decade-plus involvement at Test level, but he has yet to play alongside Ollie Lawrence.

Both were included in the 33-strong squad named on Monday for next month’s Rugby World Cup in France and Borthwick has suggested the Tuilagi-Lawrence combination is something he would consider as he believes it’s a partnership that could work.

Lawrence has made eight starts in his 11-cap career, seven of those run-on appearances coming with Henry Slade as his midfield partner.