Tuilagi on the bench for England

Date published: March 10 2016

BAGSHOT, ENGLAND - MARCH 10:  Manu Tuilagi looks on during the England training session held at Pennyhill Park on March 10, 2016 in Bagshot, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

England head coach Eddie Jones has named an unchanged starting line-up  for Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Wales at Twickenham.

Centre Manu Tuilagi is named as a replacement having returned to fitness, along with Elliot Daly and Danny Care.

Second-row forward Maro Itoje keeps his place with fit-again Joe Launchbury among the replacements.

Joe Marler will start at loose-head prop ahead of Mako Vunipola while Ben Youngs gets the nod at scrum-half.

“Manu Tuilagi’s selection to the match day squad is based more on potential than his recent performances in the Premiership,” said Jones.

“He has trained well this week and I am pleased with what I’ve seen.” 

Luke Cowan-Dickie will be England’s replacement hooker following the injury to Jamie George with Dylan Hartley leading England at Twickenham.

“It is a shame that Jamie George misses out through injury and we wish him well in his recovery, but it provides a great opportunity for Luke Cowan-Dickie to show what he’s about,” explained Jones.

Saturday’s game is likely to decide the destination of the 2016 Six Nations with both sides unbeaten in the tournament.

“We’ve picked our best 23 to get the job done on Saturday,” said Jones.

“The squad have prepared well this week and I’m happy with how things have progressed.”

George Ford is chosen at fly-half with inside centre Owen Farrell partnering Jonathan Joseph.

Prop Kieran Brookes replaces Paul Hill in the matchday squad and flanker Jack Clifford makes up England’s replacements.

“It was a tight call between Kieran Brookes and Paul Hill, who have pushed each other hard, but Kieran gets the nod for Saturday,” added Jones.

“There is a huge amount to play for on Saturday and we are looking forward to being back at home in front of a vocal Twickenham crowd.”

England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Anthony Watson, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 James Haskell, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Jack Clifford, 21 Danny Care, 22 Manu Tuilagi, 23 Elliot Daly

Date: Saturday, March 12
Venue: Twickenham
Kick-off: 16:00 GMT
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Mathieu Raynal (France)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

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