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6 Nations

England name squad for Guinness Six Nations & Autumn Nations Cup

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Issued by Rugby Football Union

Eddie Jones has named a 36-player squad for his England side’s autumn tournament fixtures.
 
England will play their final match of the rescheduled 2020 Guinness Six Nations against Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday 31 October (4.45pm GMT KO), knowing a bonus point win could see them lift the trophy.
 
They will then return to begin their Autumn Nations Cup campaign at Twickenham Stadium where they will play three Quilter Internationals.  England will play Georgia (Saturday 14 November, 3pm KO) and Ireland (Saturday 21 November, 3pm KO).
 
England will then face Wales away (Saturday 28 November, 4pm KO) before a placing match at home to determine final position in the competition (Sunday 6 December, 2pm KO).
 
England have been in training for the fixtures during October at The Lensbury in Teddington.  The squad includes seven Gallagher Premiership Finalists – Exeter Chiefs trio Jonny Hill, Henry Slade and Harry Williams, along with Wasps’ Joe Launchbury, Dan Robson, Jacob Umaga and Jack Willis.

Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ali Crossdale, Courtney Lawes, Jack Nowell, Manu Tuilagi and Mark Wilson are unavailable due to injury. 
 
Elliot Daly, George Ford and Joe Marler will join up with the squad for reconditioning.
 
Jones said: “We have to put our best foot forward if we want to win the Six Nations.  We need to set the tone of the game and we want to put a smile on fans’ faces, a lot of people are enduring hardships and we are grateful for the opportunity to represent England in these difficult times.
 
“We were obviously disappointed with the postponement of the Barbarians game but we moved to plan B, had a highly competitive training session instead of the match and now we are fully focused on the Italy game and the goal of winning the Six Nations.
 
“It was a tough squad to pick and I know there are a number of disappointed players that have just missed out.  We’ve got a good balance between experience and inexperience.

With nine players out injured, it does create some opportunities for the younger guys to show what they can do.  We’re very happy with what we’ve seen in the mini-camps and the Barbarians training week, it’s been really competitive.”
 
Recently appointed skills coach Jason Ryles will join up with the team for the start of the Autumn Nations Cup, after finishing the season and winning the NRL Grand Final with Melbourne Storm, where he was assistant coach.
 
Italy v England is live on ITV 1 and all Autumn Nations Cup games will be live on Amazon Prime.

FULL SQUAD
Backs

Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 83 caps)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 2 caps)
Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 13 caps)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 50 caps)
Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors, uncapped)
Max Malins (Bristol Bears, uncapped)
Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 3 caps)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 56 caps)
Dan Robson (Wasps, 2 caps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 29 caps)
Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)
Jacob Umaga (Wasps, uncapped)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 43 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 99 caps)
 
Forwards
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 23 caps)
Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 3 caps)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 15 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 18 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 49 caps)
Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped)
Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors, 1 cap)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 38 caps)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 65 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 8 caps)
Beno Obano (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
David Ribbans (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Jack Singleton (Gloucester Rugby, 3 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 35 caps)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 3 caps)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 18 caps)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 51 caps)

Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 59 caps)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps)
Jack Willis (Wasps, uncapped)

6 Nations

Paul O’Connell Joins Ireland Coaching Group

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Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Former Ireland captain Paul O’Connell has joined the Ireland national coaching group as forwards coach with Simon Easterby to focus on defence.

Paul was capped 108 times by Ireland and captained the team to Six Nations success in 2014.  O’Connell’s distinguished playing career also included seven Test match appearances for the British & Ireland Lions across three tours and two Heineken Cup titles with Munster.

Since retiring from playing in 2015, Paul has held coaching positions with the Munster Academy, Ireland Under-20s and Top 14 side Stade Francais.

O’Connell commented:

“I am really looking forward to working with Andy and the rest of the coaching group. I worked with Simon as a player and am looking forward to working with him again. It’s an exciting young group of players to be involved with and there are talented forwards coming through across the four provinces that will no doubt be pushing for international selection in the coming months and years.”

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell commented:

“Paul brings a wealth of rugby knowledge with him and as forwards coach he will have responsibility for the forwards including the line-out working alongside John (Fogarty). He will also be another strong voice and leader within the group.

“Simon (Easterby) has a real passion for defence and having developed Ireland’s forward play over the past six years with the additional responsibility for the defence over the past 12 months, he will now be able to focus his energy and rugby intellect on this area of our game.

“The weekend’s Interpro games and the European fixtures in the weeks ahead will give players the opportunity to push for selection for the Six Nations squad. The squad will not be selected until after the Champions Cup Round 4 fixtures have been completed.”

IRFU Performance Director, David Nucifora, commented: “Paul is a young Irish coach with a huge amount of international rugby experience. We have been keen to find the right opportunity for him within Irish Rugby and we think the fit with the national squad will work well. He joins the national coaching group with immediate effect as they prepare for the upcoming Six Nations Championship.”

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6 Nations

Scotland name strong team for Wales

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Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

Issued by SRU

Stuart Hogg will return to the Scotland starting line-up as Captain for the final round of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations against Wales on Saturday 31 October – kick-off 2:15pm.

Fresh from securing the European and Premiership double with his club Exeter Chiefs, Hogg plays at full back as one of five changes to the starting XV from the Scotland side that defeated Georgia 48-7 last week.

Finn Russell lines up at fly-half after winning his 50th Scotland cap in the Georgia victory at BT Murrayfield on Friday night, and is joined in the half-backs by Glasgow Warriors’ Ali Price.

In the back division, Blair Kinghorn shifts to the wing from full-back and replaces Edinburgh teammate Duhan van de Merwe, who is named among the replacements. James Lang and Chris Harris continue their centre partnership after playing together against Georgia.

In the pack fellow Exeter Chief Jonny Gray comes into the second row and Scarlets’ Blade Thomson is selected at number 8 and will run out on his club ground on Saturday in Llanelli.Hooker Fraser Brown is named as Vice-Captain and packs down with Rory Sutherland and Zander Fagerson in an unchanged front row.

Scott Cummings also retains his starting place to partner Gray in the second row.Edinburgh pair Jamie Ritchie, also a Vice Captain, and Hamish Watson make up the back-row with Thomson.

In the replacements Harlequins scrum-half Scott Steele could make his Scotland debut if called into action.

Adam Hastings and van de Merwe complete the backline replacements. Townsend can also call upon the same front row of Oli Kebble, Stuart McInally and Simon Berghan as featured in against Georgia, alongside Worcester Warrior Cornell du Preez and Edinburgh’s Ben Toolis from the bench.

“As a group we are very much looking forward to finally completing our fixture against Wales and returning to play Guinness Six Nations rugby again. We were highly motivated back in March, and that extra edge has come back into our training and preparations this week.
Scotland Head Coach, Gregor Townsend

“It’s been great to bring in quality and experience to our starting line-up with players such as Stuart, Jonny and Finn who have been involved in some high-level games in recent weeks. We were also encouraged by Blade’s display at the weekend for Scarlets, which is a timely boost given last weekend’s injury to Matt Fagerson.

“We are expecting a physical battle against a very good side, one which we will be working hard to stay in the fight and to finish the fight in Llanelli. Ultimately, this game provides an opportunity for us to end this extended championship on a positive note and go into the Autumn Nations Cup with some added belief in what this group of players can achieve.”

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6 Nations

Wales XV announced for 6 Nations finale v Scotland.

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Photo by John Berry/Getty Images

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones will become rugby’s most capped international on Saturday when he makes his 149th test appearance (140th for Wales plus 9 British & Irish Lions caps).

Jones levelled the record last weekend but will take the honour for himself at Parc y Scarlets this weekend as Wales face Scotland in their re-arranged Guinness Six Nations finale (14.15 KO BBC & S4C).

At the other end of the international spectrum, Cardiff Blues back-row Shane Lewis-Hughes will make his first test appearance for Wales in a back-row alongside experienced Lions duo Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau.

Will Rowlands, fresh from the English Premiership Final with Wasps, comes into the side to make his first start for Wales and he packs down alongside captain Jones.

European Champion and English Premiership winner Tomas Francis comes into the front-row alongside Rhys Carre and Ryan Elias.

In the backline Gareth Davies partners Dan Biggar with Owen Watkin coming into the midfield alongside Jonathan Davies.

Liam Williams returns to the back-three to feature alongside Josh Adams and Leigh Halfpenny.

On the bench Sam Parry, Wyn Jones and Dillon Lewis provide the front-row replacements with Cory Hill and James Davies completing the forward contingent. Lloyd Williams comes straight into the matchday squad and provides backline cover along with Rhys Patchell and Nick Tompkins.

Issued by WRU

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