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Jamie George, Mark Wilson return for England for Wales clash; Courtney Lawes injured

Saracens hooker Jamie George and Newcastle Falcons flanker Mark Wilson come in for England at hooker and blindside flanker respectively. An injury at training on Wednesday ruled out Northampton’s Courtney Lawes, while Leicester’s uncapped 19-year-old George Martin is named on the bench

By Michael Cantillon

Eddie Jones has made two changes to his starting XV to face Wales in Cardiff on Saturday in the Six Nations, as hooker Jamie George and back-row Mark Wilson return to start.

George replaces Exeter’s Luke Cowan-Dickie in the front row, with the latter dropping down to the bench, while Wilson is restored to the squad – having missed out altogether against Italy – as a result of an injury picked up by Courtney Lawes in training on Wednesday.

Among the replacements, uncapped 19-year-old Leicester Tigers forward George Martin is in line for his Test debut, while Jones has again gone with a six-two split of forwards to backs.

“Wales is a really special fixture and rivalry. There is a long history between the two nations and the game means a lot to both countries,” head coach Jones said.

“We know we’ll be up against a strong Welsh challenge on Saturday, but we’ve worked really hard in training this week and have got a very good team to face it.

“We want to show people what we are capable of, keep building our performances and the best is yet to come from this England team.”

Owen Farrell captains the side again from inside centre, with the rest of the backline unchanged.

Elliot Daly, Anthony Watson and Jonny May form the back-three, Henry Slade is at outside centre again and Ben Youngs at scrum-half.

Mako Vunipola and Kyle Sinckler start at loosehead prop and tighthead prop respectively, Maro Itoje and Jonny Hill in the second row, Tom Curry at openside flanker and Billy Vunipola at No 8.

Alongside Martin and Cowan-Dickie on the bench are Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Charlie Ewels, Ben Earl, Dan Robson and Max Malins.

England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Mako Vunipola, 2 Jamie George, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 Jonny Hill, 6 Mark Wilson, 7 Tom Curry, 8 Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 George Martin, 21 Ben Earl, 22 Dan Robson, 23 Max Malins.

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