Saracens Ben Earl insists England’s narrow but feisty 19-17 victory over Wales in their latest Rugby World Cup warm-up encounter was merely down to hard work and fighting spirit.

England, coached by former Saracen Steve Borthwick, rallied superbly after playing most of a fiery-tempered second half with 12 men to snatch a late victory at Twickenham.

Earl’s clubmate and England captain Owen Farrell, 31, joined Ellis Genge and Freddie Steward in the sin bin for a dangerously high tackle to the head of Welsh openside flanker Taine Basham.

But after another TMO check under the new bunker review system Owen’s yellow card was upgraded to red and he was given his marching orders on 63 minutes by referee Nika Amashukeli.

Tuesday’s disciplinary hearing reversed the decision, meaning Farrell is free to play in the rest of England’s warm-up fixtures against Ireland at Dublin’s AVIVA Stadium this Saturday (August 19) and Fiji at Twickenham (August 26) and their mouthwatering World Cup opener against Argentina in Marseille, France on September 9.

Before seeing red Farrell fired in three first-half penalties, while clubmate Maro Itoje, 28, scored the home side’s only try on 68 minutes.

Tomos Williams’ converted try on 66 minutes seemed to seal it for Wales, however Sale fly-half George Ford’s penalty four minutes from time ensured England avenged the 20-9 defeat in Cardiff from seven days earlier.

Jamie George, Billy Vunipola and Elliot Daly, one of the standout performers along with Nick Tompkins for the visitors, also made their presence felt at RFU headquarters on Saturday, while Theo Dan remained on the bench despite earning his first England cap in the Cardiff fixture seven days ago.

Flanker Earl, 25, had last played for England in the 22-19 extra time victory over France in December 2020 which saw them claim the one-off Autumn Nations Cup, and celebrated his return by earning host broadcaster Amazon Prime’s man of the match award.

"A lot of hard work during the game and the last seven weeks is proof of what we have done and then we worked right to the end,” Earl told Amazon Prime.

"We speak about never stopping and we showed that. We went down to 12 men at one point and we came back, so we are really pleased.

"I think we just rely on what we have done and rely on the messages we have been given, trust our game plan and we have so many key leaders in this team.

"We are overwhelmed to win at home. We showed a bit of fight after the questions asked of us after last week. Test match rugby certainly against Wales is not going to be pretty in the first 40 or 60 minutes, I don't know how many kicks there were, but it seemed like a lot.

"The game was going to open up at one point and unfortunately it opened up when we had 12 men."