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Borthwick reveals his hand for Wales clash

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: England named an unchanged team for the first time in over four years on Thursday when coach Steve Borthwick announced his side to play Wales in the Six Nations.

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Saturday’s second-round match at Twickenham is set to see Borthwick keep faith with the same starting XV that featured in England’s narrow opening 27-24 win over Italy in Rome last weekend.

Ellis Genge was the only change to the matchday 23, with the 28-year-old prop recalled to the bench in place of Beno Obano after the England vice-captain missed the victory at the Stadio Olimpico with a foot injury.

England last fielded an unchanged starting team at the 2019 World Cup Final, when a side coached by Eddie Jones suffered a 12-32 defeat to South Africa in Yokohama, Japan.

This weekend’s match will see Jamie George captain England for the first time at Twickenham, with the hooker packing down in a front row featuring Joe Marler at loosehead prop and Will Stuart at tighthead.

Wales coach Warren Gatland, in contrast to Borthwick, made seven changes to his starting line-up.

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The New Zealander announced his side on Wednesday following their agonising 26-27 loss to Scotland in Cardiff – a match where the Welsh were 0-27 down before scoring 26 unanswered points of their own.

England have won their last seven matches against Wales at Twickenham since a memorable 2015 World Cup pool defeat, with the Welsh having gone without a Six Nations success in southwest London since 2012.

England: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Tommy Freeman, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Fraser Dingwall, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Ben Earl, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Ethan Roots, 5 Ollie Chessum, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Jamie George (captain), 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Alex Coles, 20 Chandler Cunningham-South, 21 Danny Care, 22 Fin Smith, 23 Immanuel Feyi-Waboso.

Date: Saturday, February 10
Venue: Twickenham Stadium, London
Kick-off: 16.45 (16.45 GMT)
Referee: James Doleman (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand), Hollie Davidson (Scotland)
TMO: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)

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