Injuries force Eddie's hand
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: England head coach Eddie Jones has named his team to play in their third Six Nations match against Wales on Saturday in Cardiff.
Jones has made two changes to the starting XV following injuries to Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks) and Mako Vunipola (Saracens) with Exeter Chiefs pair Jack Nowell selected on the right wing and Ben Moon at loosehead prop.
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby) and Brad Shields (Wasps) are included in the match day 23 for the first time this tournament while Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers) and Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs) are named as finishers.
Owen Farrell (Saracens) will captain England who have won their last five Six Nations matches against Wales.
BREAKING | Your England team to face Wales on Saturday in the #GuinnessSixNations
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) February 21, 2019
Eddie Jones said: “England and Wales is always a big game. Intense rivals and there is the historical context to it, but for us it is our most important game because it is our next game and that is how we are treating it.
“Whenever you play against a Warren Gatland side you are playing against a side that is going to be very physical on the gain line. They are always very fit so you have to make sure you win the gain line and then find opportunities of where you are going to attack them.
“As you have read in the media, it’s all about Wales, we are playing potentially the greatest team ever. Their players are full of emotion and it’s the biggest game they are going to play in their lives. We have had a good week just focussing on ourselves and focussing on getting our preparation right.”
On selection Jones added: “Ben Moon will start and Ellis Genge will finish so we will get a great 80 minutes out of those two. It is disappointing to lose a player of the calibre of Mako Vunipola but we have two very good players who will do a great job for us.
“Jack Nowell will start and Joe Cokanasiga will come onto the bench. As we saw in the autumn Joe is a player of great potential so we are looking forward to him adding to the squad.
“Brad Shields comes in for Nathan Hughes as a finisher as we just feel like it is going to be a high work-rate game.”
England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell (captain), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 George Kruis, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Brad Shields, 21 Dan Robson, 22 George Ford, 23 Joe Cokanasiga.
Date: Saturday, February 23
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 16.45 (14.45 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Alexandre Ruiz (France)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)