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England Name Side for Wales Six Nations Clash

Eddie Jones has made two changes to his England side as the defending Six Nations champions head to Cardiff to face Wales – for one of the most anticipated and historic fixtures in world rugby.

After a tense opener against France, where a late Ben Te’o score secured a record breaking 15th consecutive Test Match victory, Jones has recalled Jack Nowell and Jack Clifford to the side.

Nowell was one of the substitutes to make a major impact from the bench last weekend and he has ousted Jonny May on the left wing – who drops to the bench. The Exeter Chiefs flyer has been in fine form since returning from injury and his return will be a major boost to the side.

Elsewhere Clifford makes his first Six Nations start for England, with Tom Wood dropping to the bench. The Harlequins flanker will bring some much needed energy and ball carrying ability to the back-row.

Jones said on Clifford’s inclusion, “He is a hard-working, young player. He has got a good record against Wales, he had a superb game against them in May, he knows what he is going to expect and we’re looking forward to him making an impact in our back-row play.”

Alongside Maro Itoje and Nathan Hughes, Clifford will form part of an exciting but inexperienced back-row. James Haskell is not considered ready for starting position and will again be looking to make a huge impact off the bench as one of England’s ‘finishers’.

England and Jones ready for ‘one of the biggest games in world rugby’

After Ireland’s defeat to Scotland in week one of the Six Nations, England know that a victory will put them in pole position for a second Grand Slam in two-years.

And Jones says his side are ready for the challenge ahead saying: “It’s been a great week of focused preparation and we can’t wait to play Wales.

“Playing Wales in Cardiff is one of the biggest games in world rugby and we’re excited. These are the games you want to be part of as a player and a coach.

“It’s a game that is going to be decided on the basics of the game. You do the fundamentals of the game well and you win the game of rugby. We have a young team eager to play well at the great Principality Stadium.”

England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Joe Marler, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 3 Dan Cole, 4 Joe Launchbury, 5 Courtney Lawes, 6 Maro Itoje, 7 Jack Clifford 8 Nathan Hughes

Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Tom Wood, 20 James Haskell, 21 Danny Care, 22 Ben Te’o, 23 Jonny May

2017 Old Mutual Wealth Series (Autumn Internationals) On Sale Now!

The Autumn Internationals are one of the major highlights of the international rugby calendar as the best sides from the Southern Hemisphere head to Europe for their end of season tours. In 2017 England face three crucial fixtures at Twickenham Argentina, Australia and Samoa.

Please see our Twickenham Autumn Internationals hospitality page for more information.

RBS Six Nations 2017 Round One Preview

‘Rugby’s Greatest Championship’ returns this weekend as Europe’s elite sides battle it out in the opening round of the RBS Six Nations 2017. Round one of this historic tournament see’s Scotland take on Ireland, England welcoming France to Twickenham and Wales travelling to Italy.

England v France – Twickenham – Saturday 4th February 4.50pm

England enter the Six Nations as the defending Grand Slam champions and the world’s No.2 ranked side behind New Zealand.

After a perfect 2016 which saw Eddie Jones’s side register 13 consecutive Test Match victories (14 including the win over Uruguay in 2015); England know victory on Saturday will see them surpass their longest ever winning streak of 14-games, set in 2002/03.

But after a series of major injury blows, the hosts know that they face a stern examination of their credentials against an improving French side.

The loss of the Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Chris Robshaw and George Kruis has prompted a switch around in the pack. Nathan Hughes will continue to deputise in the absence of Billy Vunipola, while Tom Wood will continue at openside flanker.

World Rugby Young Player of the Year, Maro Itoje, will switch to blindside flanker from second row. While Joe Marler returns at prop after a remarkable recovery from a fractured leg.

The backline has a much more settled feel, with just one change from the side that faced Australia, with Elliot Daly returning on the wing. On the bench England welcome back James Haskell and Jack Nowell from injury and will be hoping for major impact from two of their finest players.

France produced some fine efforts in the Autumn Internationals and will be looking to continue that form at Twickenham. Livewire scrum-half Baptiste Serin will be one of the real danger men for the visitors.

Remi Lamerat and Gael Fickou are named as the centre partnership in the absence of the injured Wesley Fofana, with Mathieu Bastareaud omitted from the matchday 23, while Fijians Virimi Vakatawa and Noa Nakaitaci continue on the wings.

Prediction: Injuries will be no excuse for Eddie Jones, he will be expecting his side to make it 15 consecutive wins. Twickenham looks to be returning to the fortress of old and despite the recent resurgence of France, England should come out on top.

England 27-19 France

Scotland v Ireland – BT Murrayfield Saturday 4th February 2.25pm

This game has the potential to be one of the highlights of the tournament and is the perfect way to start the Six Nations 2017.

After their unbelievable autumn which saw them beat the All Blacks, Ireland and their coach Joe Schmidt will be expecting to claim another Six Nations title in March. But the men in green will begin the Six Nations without star fly-half Johnny Sexton.

In his place Ulster’s Paddy Jackson will step into the number 10 shirt. In the back row, Schmidt has been able to name arguably the strongest in the competition with CJ Stander, Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip all starting.

In the centres all eyes will be on the pairing of Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw. The highly-rate Ringrose has been compared to Brian O’Driscoll and makes his first Six Nations start. While Henshaw will be looking to cement his status as the best inside centre in the British Isles.

Scotland also enjoyed a fine autumn series and are many peoples outside tips for tournament success. In Vern Cotter’s final Six Nations, Scotland will be finally looking to deliver on the promise of recent performances.

Centre Huw Jones returns to the side after injury, and will feature in a talented back division alongside Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Finn Russell and Sean Maitland. The talented Gray brothers continue in the engine room, while Ryan Wilson, Hamish Watson and Josh Strauss complete the back-row.

Prediction: A game filled with stars, both sides have bags of attacking potential. Ireland are one of the tournament favourites and have the pedigree to go all the way, whereas Scotland will be looking to fulfil their potential. But Ireland should just edge a tight encounter.

Scotland 24 – Ireland 26

Italy v Wales – Stadio Olimpico Sunday 5th February 2.00pm

The final game of the weekend see’s Wales travel to Rome to face Conor O’Shea’s Italy in a fascinating encounter.

With Warren Gatland away on Lions duty, Rob Howley has taken temporary charge of Wales. With Alun Wyn-Jones now leading the side, Sam Warburton switches to blindside flanker with Justin Tipuric starts at number seven.

At inside centre Scott Williams is preferred to the experienced Jamie Roberts, and will partner Jonathan Davies. While Rhys Webb returns at scrum-half and will play alongside Dan Biggar.

Conor O’Shea enters his first Six Nations in charge of Italy and after a historic victory over South Africa, he will be hoping to build a level of consistency that has been lacking for a number of years.

Prediction: This is a potential banana-skin for Wales despite fielding a near full strength side. Italy showed in the Autumn they are trying to expand their game and O’Shea will have them fully primed and firing for this game. Italy could cause an upset.

Italy 23-20 Wales

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England v Wales – Old Mutual Wealth Cup Preview

Sunday’s inaugural Old Mutual Wealth Cup at Twickenham will see England take on Wales, with both sides preparing for major summer tours to Australia and New Zealand. The game will be a rematch of the classic Six Nations encounter and will be anything but an end of season friendly.

Eddie Jones was able to select a strong squad for the game, but he will be without his contingent of Saracens and Exeter players who will be contesting the Aviva Premiership Final on Saturday. But the Australian has named four uncapped players in the match day 23.

Harrison to make England debut

Northampton Saints star Teimana Harrison will make his England debut at blindside flanker, after a stellar season with the East Midlands giants.

The 23-year-old went to the same high school as Six Nations winning skipper Dylan Hartley (Rotorua Boys School) and qualifies for England through his English father. After enjoying a breakout season, Jones has rewarded him with a Test Match debut and place in the squad for the Australia tour.

At number eight Jack Clifford will make his full debut, after several appearances off the bench during the Six Nations. While James Haskell will continue his role at openside flanker, with Matt Kvesic offering cover from the bench.

While Tommy Taylor and Ellis Genge could make their England debuts from the bench; along with centre Ollie Devoto.

In the backs Luther Burrell returns to the inside centre jersey for the first time since last August, while Marland Yarde starts on the wing in the absence of Jack Nowell.

Eddie Jones said, “This is an important Test match and a great opportunity for us to play some positive, physical rugby. We are a young team learning our craft, Wales are an experienced team; it’ll be great test for us.

“We can’t wait to get back Twickenham to play in front of a massive crowd. England versus Wales is a special occasion and we look forward to giving our loyal fans something to cheer about.”

Gatland selects strong team for England clash

Warren Gatland has been able to select a near full strength Wales side for the Old Mutual Cup clash, with Sam Warburton and Jonathan Davies the only notable absentees.

Gloucester’s Ross Moriarty replaces Warburton, winning his sixth Wales cap. While Dan Lydiate moves to openside flanker and takes over the captaincy.

In the backs the likes of Dan Biggar, George North, Jamie Roberts and Liam Williams all feature, meaning this will be a proper Test Match.


The Wales coach said: “It will be an important hit-out for both teams and as ever it will be an important Test match as it’s England v Wales at Twickenham.

“There is a lot of continuity in our squad and a great amount of experience and that is going to be vital over the next five weeks.”

This will be a must-see encounter.

For more information please see our Twickenham Autumn International hospitality packages and our Twickenham Six Nations hospitality packages.

England pick squad for Old Mutual Wealth Cup game at Twickenham

Eddie Jones has selected a strong 26-man squad for England’s Old Mutual Wealth Cup match against Wales at Twickenham on Sunday.

The Six Nations champions will be without their contingent of Saracens and Exeter Chiefs players including Maro Itoje, Billy Vunipola, George Kruis and Jack Nowell; who are contesting the Aviva Premiership Final on Saturday.

However they are able to recall several of the stars who shone during their Grand Slam winning campaign, while some uncapped players could get the chance to showcase their talents.

One of the notable omissions is Danny Cipriani who has enjoyed one of his finest seasons and will join up with Wasps ahead of the 2016-17 season.

After a training camp in Brighton, Cipriani was unable to force his way into the squad for the Australia tour, but will travel with the England Saxons to South Africa.

Jones said on the 28-year-old: “It’s never the end. The door is always open. He came down to Brighton and put his best foot forward. He’s got some work to do on his game if he’s going to dislodge the other two boys.”

With Owen Farrell struggling with a rib injury, it could be a case of Jones holding Cipriani back in case he has to call upon him for the Australia tour.

England could field exciting back-row for Wales clash

England v Wales was probably the best game of the 2016 Six Nations as the hosts avenged their World Cup defeat with a 25-21 victory.

The battle at the breakdown was crucial that day and will again be a pivotal area of the game on Sunday and Jones has given himself the option of fielding an exciting and dynamic back-row.

Teimana Harrison has been one of the Premierships form players in the second half of the season, forcing his way into the squad for the Australia series. The 23-year-old has the ability to cover openside and number eight, while his work at the breakdown has been superb.

Matt Kvesic is another who has really impressed this season in a struggling Gloucester side, he has maintained a high-level of performance and is a master of stealing ball at the ruck.

While Jack Clifford made steady progress throughout the Six Nations during his first season of international rugby. Like Harrison he is a versatile performer and has been a constant in Jones’s plans and could get his first start.

With world ranking points and the Old Mutual Wealth Cup at stake, this will be anything but an end of season friendly as both sides prepare for huge summer tours of Australia and New Zealand respectively.

Predicted England Rugby XV v Wales:
15. Mike Brown
14. Anthony Watson
13. Jonathan Joseph
12. Ollie Devoto
11. Marland Yarde
10. George Ford
9. Danny Care
8. Jack Clifford
7. Matt Kvesic
6. Chris Robshaw
5. Courtney Lawes
4. Joe Launchbury
3. Paul Hill
2. Dylan Hartley ©
1. Matt Mullan

For more information please follow the links to our Twickenham Autumn International Hospitality Packages and Twickenham Six Nations Hospitality Packages.