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Published: 10:35 | 10/3/16

England keep the faith


England head coach Eddie Jones has kept faith with the same starting XV that defeated Ireland for Saturday's RBS Six Nations tie against Wales.

Mike Brown is retained at full-back after avoiding a citing for an incident involving Conor Murray and he is once again joined in the back three by Anthony Watson and Jack Nowell, while Jonathan Joseph and Owen Farrell start in the midfield. George Ford and Ben Youngs team up in the half-back line.

It is as you were in the front row as Joe Marler, Dylan Hartley and Dan Cole all start as Maro Itoje locks down with George Kruis in the second row. Chris Robshaw, James Haskell and Billy Vunipola complete the pack.

There are four changes to the replacements bench as Manu Tuilagi returns to the matchday 23, replacing Alex Goode, while Kieran Brookes, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Joe Launchbury are also included.

"We've picked our best 23 to get the job done on Saturday. The squad have prepared well this week and I'm happy with how things have progressed," Jones stated.

"Manu Tuilagi's selection to the match day squad is based more on potential than his recent performances in the Premiership. He has trained well this week and I am pleased with what I've seen.

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

"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.

"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 (XV v Wales): M Brown; A Watson, J Joseph, O Farrell, J Nowell; G Ford, B Youngs; J Marler, D Hartley, D Cole, M Itoje, G Kruis, C Roshaw, J Haskell, B Vunipola.

Replacements: L Cowan-Dickie, M Vunipola, K Brookes, J Launchbury, J Clifford, D Care, M Tuilagi, E Daly.


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