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6 Nations

England Without Underhill for Welsh Clash

England have made two changes to their team to face Wales with Sam Underhill forced to miss the game

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(Photo by Bob Bradford - CameraSport via Getty Images)

England head coach Eddie Jones has made two changes to his starting line-up for his side’s Six Nations game with Wales this Saturday in Twickenham at 16 45.

One of those changes has been forced upon him with flanker Sam Underhill missing due to an unspecified injury and is replaced by Mark Wilson. 

While the only other alteration to the team that defeated Ireland two weeks’ ago sees a fit again Anthony Watson return to the wing in place of Jonathan Joseph, who drops out of the squad. 

Elsewhere, it’s as you were last time out with Joe Marler and Kyle Sinckler either side of Jamie George in the front-row, with Maro Itoje and George Kruis slotting in behind them in the second-row. 

Courtney Lawes retains his place as blindside-flanker, with Wilson on the openside and Tom Curry continues at No 8. 

Ben Youngs and George Ford make up the half-back pairing, and they have captain Owen Farrell and Manu Tuilagi outside them in the centre positions. 

Jonny May switches to the left-wing to accommodate Watson on the right and Elliot Daly opens the game from full-back once again. 

On the bench Jones has again gone with a six-two forwards to backs split with the likes of Luke Cowan-Dickie and Joe Launchbury joining the only backs in the substitutes Willi Heinz and Henry Slade among the replacements. 

Speaking ahead of the game Jones has noted how Wales are a team in progress and expects a tough test. 

“Wales are a very tough, well-coached side and they’ve been building on their attack since Wayne Pivac has taken over. It’s always a tough game against Wales and we know they will bring that toughness to all the contest areas. We’re looking forward to playing at home again and getting back out in front of our fantastic fans,” he said. 

England know a win will keep them in the hunt for the title, but also that this will be their final game of the tournament for now as they wait for confirmation of a date for their postponed fixture with Italy. While Wales will be hoping to get one over on their old rivals following two defeats in a row. 

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below. 

Starting XV: 

15 Elliot Daly (Saracens, 42 caps)

14 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 42 caps)

13 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 42 caps)

12 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 82 caps) C

11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 55 caps)

10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 68 caps)

9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 98 caps)

1 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 70 caps)

2 Jamie George (Saracens, 48 caps)

3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 34 caps)

4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 37 caps)

5 George Kruis (Saracens, 44 caps)

6 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 84 caps)

7 Mark Wilson (Sale Sharks, 18 caps)

8 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 22 caps)

Replacements: 

16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 23 caps)

17 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 17 caps)

18 Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 2 caps)

19 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 64 caps)

20 Charlie Ewels  (Bath Rugby, 14 caps)

21 Ben Earl (Saracens, 2 caps)

22 Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 12 caps)

23 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 28 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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