England book Fourth of July blockbuster with USA as fans return to Twickenham for first time this year amid Covid hell

ENGLAND have an Independence Day blockbuster with the USA on Fourth of July.

After their worst ever Six Nations finish Eddie Jones has been gifted an easy double-header against Gary Gold's Eagles and Canada this summer.

England smashed USA 45-7 at the 2019 Japan World Cup.

And the game will be the first time fans are allowed back to Twickenham since the Autumn Nations Cup final win over France in December.

It is expected that at least 10,000 supporters will be at the 82,000-seater stadium.

With 11 England stars away with the Lions in South Africa, Jones will finally be forced to pick some of the Premiership's in-form aces such as Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith.

Boss Jones, who was saved from the axe just weeks ago, said: “The summer series will give us the chance to look at a lot of players and see how they step up, and it’s an important part of our World Cup preparation.

“For younger players, it’s a chance to show what they can do at international level and how they are in the team environment.

“There aren’t too many opportunities to lead at international level, so for the more experienced players it’s a chance to take further leadership roles and grow their game in that area.

“USA are one of the most ambitious of the emerging nations.

"They have an experienced coach in Gary Gold and have a team full of American verve and physicality, with the aim of moving themselves up the world rankings.

“Canada are a traditional rival for England. They’re a tough, physical side and Kingsley Jones is an astute coach so we’re expecting two good, competitive Test matches for our supporters.

“We’re really looking forward to having supporters back in the stadiums, it makes such a difference and we expect it’ll be three exciting matches for everyone watching.”

An England A side will also face Scotland A at Leicester Tigers' Welford Road on Sunday, June 27.

Tickets will be available for England v USA and England v Canada from Thursday 13 May.

Meanwhile, South Africa will warm up for the Lions series by taking on fiery Georgia.

Incredibly, because of the pandemic, the World Cup winners haven't played since beating England in the Japan 2019 final – more than 500 days ago.

It will be the first time Georgia have toured South Africa for the Tests on the weekend of July 2/3 and July 9/10.

Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus: “Nothing beats a full-blooded international to test your skill set, readiness and ability under pressure, and we are delighted to have this opportunity before the Lions series.

“Jacques Nienaber and his coaching staff and management have been working around the clock to get the team as well prepared as possible, and the Georgia series is a much-needed opportunity after such a long and unforeseen interruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Nienaber added: “The confirmation of the Georgian Tests, and the announcement of the British & Irish Lions squad last week have caused a lot of excitement and I am sure it will lift the spirit of the players – we can now accelerate our preparations for our return to Test rugby."

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