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6 Nations

England make changes for Italy

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(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Eddie Jones has named his England team to play Italy in the Guinness Six Nations this weekend.
 
England will host Italy at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday 13 February (2.15pm KO).
 
Mako Vunipola is back from injury at loose-head prop, with Kyle Sinckler (tight-head prop) and Luke Cowan-Dickie (hooker) also returning to the starting line-up, in the front row.  Jonny Hill and Maro Itoje stay as locks.
 
Courtney Lawes starts at blind-side flanker, with Tom Curry continuing at open-side flanker and Billy Vunipola at No. 8. 
 
Captain Owen Farrell moves to inside centre, Henry Slade is at outside centre and George Ford starts at fly half. 
 
Jonny May is at left wing and Anthony Watson right wing.  Elliot Daly will be at full back and Ben Youngs remains at scrum half.
 
Ben Earl, Charlie Ewels, Jamie George, Ellis Genge, Max Malins, Dan Robson, Will Stuart and Jack Willis are named as finishers.
 
Jones said: “As always, we’ve picked what we think is our strongest 23 to try and win the game.
 
“We’re pleased to have Mako and Kyle back into the team and we’ve made some changes to our starting XV, but our finishers are just as important to our game plan.  We look at the whole 80 minutes.
 
“We’ve trained very well this week, I’ve been very pleased with the players’ attitudes and work-rate.
 
“We’re hoping to put on a good performance on Saturday and kick on with our Guinness Six Nations campaign.”
 
England v Italy is live on ITV 1 and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.
 
England XV Starters
15. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 48 caps)
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 47 caps)
13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 35 caps)
12. Owen Farrell (C) (Saracens, 89 caps)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 62 caps)
10. George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 73 caps)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 105 caps)
1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 63 caps)
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 27 caps)
3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 40 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 44 caps)
5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 5 caps)
6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 86 caps)
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 29 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 57 caps)
 
Finishers
16. Jamie George (Saracens, 55 caps)
17. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 24 caps)
18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)
19. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 17 caps)
20. Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 9 caps)
21. Jack Willis (Wasps, 2 caps)
22. Dan Robson (Wasps, 8 caps)
23. Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 4 caps)

6 Nations

Cian Healy signs short term extension

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Ireland and Leinster loosehead prop Cian Healy has signed a 1 year extension to his IRFU contract up to the end of the 2021/22 season.

Cian is Ireland’s most capped prop forward having lined out for Ireland on 107 occasions to date. He made his Ireland debut against Australia in November 2009 and was selected for the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia making two appearances before injury ended his involvement.

Cian has won three Six Nations titles with Ireland and represented Leinster on 226 occasions winning four Heineken Cup titles during his career in blue.

David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, commented,

“Cian has been a cornerstone of both the Irish and Leinster packs for over a decade.  He has shown incredible resilience to come back from serious injury and perform at the highest level.  Cian has a lot to contribute to Irish Rugby and we are delighted that he has signed on for another year.”

Cian Healy, commented,

“My drive for success at both Leinster and Ireland is as strong as ever.  I am lucky enough to currently be part to two teams with the same mentality which is special and I look forward to another season of pushing boundaries and achieving our goals.

I’m loving my rugby as much now as I did at the very start of my career and looking forward to having our supporters back in stadia.”

Article from Irish Rugby

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6 Nations

O’Mahony Signs Contract Extension with IRFU

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Ireland and Munster backrow Peter O’Mahony has signed a two year extension to his IRFU contract keeping him at Munster until 2023.

Peter made his Ireland debut in the Six Nations against Italy in 2012 and has gone on to win 74 caps and captain his country on eight occasions.  A Lions tourist in 2017, Peter captained the Lions in the opening Test of the series against New Zealand.

Peter has represented Munster on 141 occasions becoming captain of his province in 2013 at the age of 24.

David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, commented,

“Peter has played a leadership role in Munster from an early age and is one of the senior leaders in the national squad.  He is a competitor and passionate about playing for both Ireland and Munster.”

Peter O’Mahony, commented,

“It’s a huge privilege to sign on with the province and country I’ve grown up in and dreamed of playing for. It’s been something I’ve been very open about saying from day one and its very pleasing to be able to continue the journey for two more years.

There’s a huge amount of responsibility that comes with representing both teams and I understand how much pressure there is to deliver silverware, however, I am incredibly enthusiastic on the position and competitiveness of both Munster and Ireland and I look forward to hopefully contributing to both, to succeed in delivering that success on the pitch.”

Irish Rugby

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6 Nations

Sexton extends contract

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(Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Ireland and Leinster out-half Johnny Sexton has signed a 1 year extension to his IRFU contract up to the end of the 2021/22 season.

The 2018 World Player of the Year took on the Ireland captaincy in January 2020 and is one of Irish rugby’s most decorated players.

He has been central to both Ireland and Leinster’s success for over a decade following his international debut against Fiji in November 2009.

A two time Lions tourist in 2013 and 2017, Johnny has won three Six Nations titles with Ireland and four European Cups with Leinster.  He has represented his provinces on 171 occasions scoring 1505 points.

David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, commented,

“Johnny continues to show he has the quality and appetite to compete at the highest levels.  He is playing an important leadership role with the Ireland squad and his insight and experience continues to be of great value to the group.”

Johnny Sexton, commented,

“I am really enjoying my rugby and I want to keep learning and adding value to both the Ireland and Leinster environments.   I am enjoying the challenge of captaincy and the added responsibility that it brings.  My appetite for success is the same as it ever was and the ambitions of both the Ireland and Leinster squads match my own.”

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