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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



(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)


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

Wales & France name side for 6 Nations restart



Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has named his first squad in seven months as Wales kick off their Autumn campaign in Paris against France on Saturday (KO 21.10 local, ITV4 & S4C).

Captain Alun Wyn Jones will level the world record of test appearances when he makes his 148th international appearance (including 9 British & Irish Lions test caps). Jones will pack down alongside Cory Hill who makes his first start for his country since February 2019.
Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias and Samson Lee comprise the front-row with Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau featuring in the back-row.

Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar are named at half-back with Nick Tompkins partnering the returning Jonathan Davies in midfield. Josh Adams, George North and Leigh Halfpenny make up the back-three.
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac said:

“The players are excited, it has been a long time, we can’t wait for Saturday.
“We have six matches this autumn and the game against France helps us get back into our stride international rugby-wise. We have picked an experienced side and are up against a good French team so we want to start this autumn well and get on the front foot for the Guinness Six Nations fixture against Scotland.

“We have talked already about how fortunate we are to be going about our work on a daily basis. A lot of people can’t do that and certainly within our organisation there are a lot of people not back at work.

From our point of view this Saturday is an opportunity to prepare for this tournament and for Scotland, but two, to put some smiles on faces and put on a good performance and make the nation proud.
On Alun Wyn Jones equalling the world record for test caps, Pivac said:

“It is a fabulous achievement. He epitomises what a great rugby player is all about. He is a true professional on and off the field and a gentleman of the game. On the field he leads by example and you can’t ask more of your captain and we are very privileged here in Wales to have him.

”Uncapped duo Sam Parry and Louis Rees-Zammit are both named on the bench for the test at Stade de France. Nicky Smith, Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies and James Davies complete the forward replacements with Gareth Davies and Rhys Patchell joining Rees-Zammit as the back-line cover.

France have also named their team.

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6 Nations

Scarlets provide updates on Williams & Owens



(Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

Liam Williams has recovered from a foot injury that has prevented him playing for the Scarlets so far this season. He has been released from the Wales squad to train with the Scarlets ahead of Friday’s Guinness PRO14 clash with Benetton.

Ken Owens has undergone surgery on the shoulder injury he sustained against Glasgow and it is expected he will be unavailable for three to four months.

Josh Macleod has started his rehabilitation for a hamstring injury sustained against Glasgow. He will be targeting a return to play in December.

Scarlets also confirmed that Sam Lousi has been banned for a period of four weeks as a result of his red card in the Guinness PRO14 clash with Glasgow Warriors.

Lousi was shown a red card by referee Frank Murphy (IRFU) under Law 9.13 – a Player must not tackle an opponent early, late, or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling, or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulder even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.

The disciplinary hearing was handled by Roddy Dunlop (Scotland) and it was accepted that the player’s actions warranted a red card for foul play. The incident was deemed a mid-range offence, which carries a six-week suspension.

Due to the player’s previous disciplinary record (red card for punching incident, February 2020) the judicial officer could not offer full mitigation therefore, resulting in a four-week suspension.

Lousi is free to resume playing from midnight on November 9, 2020

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6 Nations

Scotland name squad for Autumn Internationals



(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend has named a 40-man squad for the forthcoming autumn international matches, which include the conclusion of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations and newly launched Autumn Nations Cup.

Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend has named a 40-man squad for the forthcoming autumn international matches, which include the conclusion of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations and newly launched Autumn Nations Cup.

The squad features three uncapped players in Glasgow Warriors prop Oli Kebble, Edinburgh winger Duhan van der Merwe and Harlequins scrum-half, Scott Steele. In the 23 forwards there are five players who did not feature in the 2020 Guinness Six Nations earlier in the year, with Glasgow Warriors trio Richie Gray (lock), Rob Harley (back-row/lock) and Kebble selected alongside London Irish flanker Blair Cowan, who won his last Scotland cap in 2016 and earns his first call up under Townsend. Scarlets’ Blade Thompson (back-row) also re-joins the squad having last featured at Rugby World Cup 2019.

In the 17 backs selected there are returns for Harlequins centre James Lang, who last featured in the national side during the summer of 2018, as well as Glasgow Warriors centre Nick Grigg and Edinburgh winger Damien Hoyland, alongside squad debutants van der Merwe and scrum-half Steele.

Racing 92 fly-half Finn Russell also joins the squad, with an opportunity to earn his 50th Scotland cap during the campaign.Gregor Townsend said:

“We are very much looking forward to coming back together as a coaching and playing group after such an unprecedented and challenging period in our sport and across society in general. “There was a strong feeling that we were growing as a team during the Six Nations earlier this year, making progress from game-to-game as well as building closer bonds within the squad.

Our aim is to keep this momentum going as we take on Georgia and Wales before competing in the Autumn Nations Cup in November. “The squad we have selected is formed by the majority of the players we worked with in the Six Nations alongside players who have grabbed their opportunity in the past few weeks and have been in form for their respective teams. “Given the lack of games since March, there will be opportunities for players out-with the squad to break into our group over the next few weeks, but for now the focus is on this group that will be in camp from tomorrow.

It will be great to see some familiar faces, welcome a few back into our squad and also introduce some new players to Test match rugby.”

Scotland begin their autumn test matches at BT Murrayfield against Georgia on Friday 23 October before facing Wales in Llanelli on 31 October in the rescheduled 2020 Guinness Six Nations fixture.

The newly formed Autumn Nations Cup begins in November with Scotland in Pool B alongside France and Fiji who they will play at BT Murrayfield as well as an away test match against Italy.

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