England look to catch France at the top of the Six Nations standings, as Wales look to get one over their local rivals, after a disappointing start to the competition.

England Team News

The home side will be without starting prop Mako Vunipola on Saturday, after he was stood down as a precautionary measure against coronavirus.

Public Health England have criticised the decision to remove the forward – who has recently travelled through Hong Kong- from the squad, branding the decision “unnecessary”.

Flanker Mark Wilson and winger Anthony Watson are available to Eddie Jones for the first time since the Rugby World Cup. Both have been named to start by coach Eddie Jones.

The game will be Jones’ first against new Wales boss Wayne Pivac.

Jones previously had a four-year rivalry with former Wales coach Warren Gatland.

Speaking before the game, the England boss said: “Wales are a very tough, well-coached side and they’ve been building on their attack since Pivac has taken over.

“He obviously wants the to pass more, that has been evident I their first three games. They still retain that toughness that Gatland had bred into.

“It’s always a tough game against Wales and we know they will bring that toughness to all the contest areas.”

England team to face Wales…

Daly, Watson, Tuilagi Farrell, May, Ford, Youngs, Marler, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Kruis, Lawes, Wilson and Curry.

Welsh Team News

Wales have dropped Taulupe Faletau to the bench, with Josh Navidi replacing his as number eight for the Saturday’s game.

Elsewhere, winger Josh Adams is replaced by Liam Williams who hasn’t featured since the World Cup through an ankle injury.

Like Williams, fly-half Dan Biggar has also been passed fit by the Welsh medical staff in a big boost for the away side.

Wales haven’t beaten England at Twickenham in the Six-Nations for eight years.

The game will be Pivac’s first experience of an England Wales affair. Despite this, the Kiwi insight’s he understands the magnitude of the occasion.

Speaking in the week, the Welsh coach said: “With my background coming from New Zealand, we look at England like the Welsh do.

“There is a healthy respect, but it’s a game we’re looking forward to – me included.

“We’ll have to be at the peak of our powers to win.”

Wales team to face England…

Halfpenny, North, Tompkins, Parkes, L Williams, Biggar, T Williams, R Evans, Owens, Lewis, Ball, AW Jones, Moriarty, Navidi, Tipuric.

Other Six Nations News

Elsewhere, Ireland’s game against Italy has been postponed. The decision was made due to concerns over the Coronavirus in Italy.

Finally, Scotland host standing leaders France on Sunday afternoon.

France have won all three of their games so far in the competition this year.


Pic by Diliff – Creative Commons License