Eddie Jones changes it up for Wales Test
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: England coach Eddie Jones has named his 23-man squad to play Wales in the fourth round of the Six Nations at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday.
In an unchanged tight five, Joe Marler, Jamie George and Kyle Sinckler are named in the front row – with George Kruis and Maro Itoje in partnership in the second row.
Mark Wilson, returning for the first time this Six Nations following injury, is named at openside flank with Courtney Lawes named at blindside flank and Tom Curry at No.8.
Ben Youngs starts at scrumhalf, with George Ford at flyhalf.
Captain Owen Farrell will play inside centre, with Manu Tuilagi named at outside centre.
Anthony Watson also returns, following an injury, to join Jonny May on the wings, with Elliot Daly selected at fullback.
Hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie, as well as props Ellis Genge and Will Stuart, are named as replacements – alongside Joe Launchbury, Charlie Ewels, Ben Earl, Willi Heinz and Henry Slade.
“We’ve had a really good two-week preparation,” Jones said – following a week in Oxford, where they trained days last Thursday and Friday, and three “good training days” this week.
“Wales are a very tough, well-coached side and they’ve been building on their attack since Wayne Pivac has taken over.
“It’s always a tough game against Wales and we know they will bring that toughness to all the contest areas.
“We’re looking forward to playing at home again and getting back out in front of our fantastic fans.”
England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Tom Curry, 7 Mark Wilson, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Charlie Ewels, 21 Ben Earl, 22 Willi Heinz, 23 Henry Slade.
Date: Saturday, March 7
Venue: Twickenham Stadium, London
Kick-off: 16.45 (16.45 GMT)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Alexandre Ruiz (France)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)