Thu 31 Jan 2019 | 11:58

Ireland beware! England's midfield bruiser is back

Ireland beware! England's midfield bruiser is back
Thu 31 Jan 2019 | 11:58
Ireland beware! England's midfield bruiser is back
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: England head coach Eddie Jones has named his matchday squad to face Ireland in their opening Six Nations match in Dublin on Saturday.

Owen Farrell will captain England at flyhalf with Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers) named outside him at 12. Tuilagi will start his first match for England since the third Test against New Zealand in June 2014.

Brothers Mako and Billy Vunipola (Saracens) will play for England for the first time this season having last featured in the Test series against South Africa in June 2018. “Everyone inside our camp believes we can win.”

Tom Curry (Sale Sharks) and Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons) will make their Six Nations debuts having been named at openside and blindside flanker respectively.

Elliot Daly (Wasps), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers) and Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) are named in the back three.

Dan Robson (Wasps) is set to make his England debut having been named as a replacement. The highly-experienced Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers) will start at scrumhalf.

“I think it is quite clear to beat Ireland you have to beat them in the contest area,” said Jones.

“They are very good at the breakdown and in the air, both those areas are a priority for us. Traditionally England and Ireland games are always very close, they are tough affairs, there is a lot of emotion in the games so our ability to finish the game strongly is going to be vital.

“It is well documented no one thinks we can win, but I can tell you everyone inside our camp believes we can win. We are hugely looking forward to the weekend.”

On England’s preparation in Portugal, Jones added: “This camp has been vitally important for us to get our understanding on how we want to play the game. It has been also enormously important for us is to get that togetherness off the field and the senior players and staff have been working very hard in those areas. We have a great group of players, hardworking and a good mix who have come together really well.”

England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Manu Tuiagi, 11 Jack Nowell, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Dan Robson), 22 George Ford, 23 Chris Ashton.

Date: Saturday, February 2
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 16.45 (16.45 GMT)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

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Ireland Beware! England's Midfield Bruiser Is Back - England | Rugby365