SLADE AND NOWELL WILL START ENGLAND’S OPENER AGAINST IRELAND


EXETER Chiefs backs Henry Slade and Jack Nowell will both start for England in their opening Six Nations match against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday (4.45pm).

Slade will form a new centre partnership with fit-again Manu Tuilagi, who will be starting his first match for England since June 2014, while Nowell will form a back three with Elliot Daly and Jonny May.

Fellow Exeter players Luke Cowan-Dickie and Harry Williams are named among the replacements.

England head coach Eddie Jones said: “I think it is quite clear to beat Ireland you have to beat them in the contest area.

“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.”

England starting XV: 15 Elliot Daly (Wasps, 25 caps), 14 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 40 caps), 13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 17 caps), 12 Manu Tuiagi (Leicester Tigers, 27 caps), 11 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 29 caps), 10 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 65 caps), 9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 80 caps); 1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 51 caps), 2 Jamie George (Saracens, 32 caps), 3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 17 caps), 4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 26 caps), 5 George Kruis (Saracens, 27 caps), 6 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 8 caps), 7 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 5 caps), 8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 36 caps).

Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 7 caps), 17 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 5 caps), 18 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 15 caps), 19 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 68 caps), 20 Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 18 caps), 21 Dan Robson (Wasps, uncapped), 22 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 51 caps), 23 Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks, 42 caps).

Buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.