Six Nations 2020: England Team to Play Wales

Eddie Jones

England men’s head coach Eddie Jones has named his 23-man squad to play Wales in the fourth round of the Guinness Six Nations at Twickenham Stadium (KO 4.45pm live on ITV1).

In an unchanged tight five, Joe Marler, Jamie George and Kyle Sinckler are named in the front row with George Kruis and Maro Itoje in partnership in the second row.

Mark Wilson, returning for the first time this Guinness Six Nations following injury, is named at openside flanker with Courtney Lawes named at blind-side flanker and Tom Curry at number 8.

Ben Youngs starts at scrum half with George Ford at fly half. Captain Owen Farrell will play inside centre with Manu Tuilagi named at outside centre.

Anthony Watson also returns following injury to join Jonny May on the wings, with Elliot Daly selected at full back.

Hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie as well as props Ellis Genge and Will Stuart are named as finishers alongside Joe Launchbury, Charlie Ewels, Ben Earl, Willi Heinz and Henry Slade.

Jones said: “We’ve had a really good two week preparation – a fallow week in Oxford where we had good training days last Thursday and Friday and three good training days this week culminating in a very good session Wednesday.

“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.”

England 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)

Finishers
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)

20 thoughts on “Six Nations 2020: England Team to Play Wales

  1. A case of “if it ain’t broke”? Might have missed it but where is Underhill? Wilson is a solid player though, good work-rate.
    If Watson is fit he plays so no surprise there.

      1. Big loss, chops anything and everything down that comes his way. Think Wilson offers a slightly different style but his work rate will be a plus v a decent Welsh backrow.

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  2. By now, usual 6/2 split. Is Eddie the new Morecombe & Wise? Playing all (well most, some of?) the right players, but not necessarily in the right order? Is Wilson a better 7 than Curry.. & vice versa? Likewise, Watson than Daly at 15? In the end, will the er, end justify the means? Probably. Interesting, from an academic POV, if 2 midfielders got crocked though. Daly moves in with Heinz to the wing I suppose? Can’t quite see Chas Ewells etc featuring in there somehow.

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    1. Curry is the best 7 in UK.Wilson is a 6,8 at a pinch.So let’s not play just one out of position in the back row let’s make it 2 and play a 13 at 15.
      There are times I think we win despite Eddie not because of.My bet is it will be a close game and England are only slight favourites but my predictions are usually way off!

      1. When was the last time Daly had a prolonged stint at 13? He’s been wing or FB for most of the last 3 years. Is a player’s position what they say it is, or where the coach believes they play best?
        I, like most, am a bit disappointed we havent seen an out-and-out 8 in the squad – Simmonds has been playing out of his skin, Mercer is fit again and had a stint in the squad before, Dombrandt looked promising though has been shown up in a couple of outings v the two aforementioned so maybe a bit early for him – but if this is the gameplan, and eddie wants to field his best 3 backrow players regardless of “stated position”, why are people still shocked and outraged by it? Its GW 4 and this has been the case for the previous 3 games?!
        Barring the France game, Curry has been better at the back of the scrum controlling the ball. Other than this facet of the game, why does it matter if he is playing 8, especially when Lawes is carrying so well?

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        1. If you think Dombrandt got outplayed by Simmonds v Exeter you must have been watching a different game Jake. I thought they were both absolutely outstanding, and either of them would slot in well to a back row with Curry at 7. Agree about Daly, he has hardly played 13 for a long time, but I still don’t rate him as a full back.

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          1. Maybe outplayed was slightly too strong a word, of the two I think Simmonds had the better performance.
            Dombrandt is still only 22 so I think he has plenty of time to earn a call-up for England. This is his second proper season, and he has performed well, but I would be reluctant to throw him in before he is ready. Japan tour would be a good place for him to start imo.

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            1. If they’re good enough, they’re old enough. And don’t forget Jones, didn’t some back row master plan. He picked 1/2 his pack due to injury.

        2. So how’s JJ fit into this picture? Arguably could have been MOTM last time, ‘out of posi’, yet he’s not even in the squad now. What is, or was now, his best spot? If a positional pick has been ‘wrong’ for the last 3 yrs, when did, or does it, become ‘right’? Why, with England’s midfield issues over the last 3 yrs, was Daly NEVER , ever even tried at his club place at 13? Surely it’s been obvious for some yrs now that Jones has become fixated with some players whom have become I droppable in his mind. Farrell, is another & as captain! Where was he in the WC final & v France? Also Tui, when fit. He fits the ltd bosh mould. He didn’t pass it once v Ireland! BV pretty much ditto. When these latter 2 are out, it almost unhinges the England game plan. It’s all v well stating that it’s worked for England in the last 3 with players OOP, except France. Is not the latter mentioned game, the point though? When it mattered v a tougher opponent, the team didn’t work. V Scotland was hardly convincing & please don’t blame that all on the weather FCOL! England have & have had, their toughest games at home & this distorts the reality of playing guys OOP. How can it be told that England might not have done better with players IN position. Also, if this OOP thing is so plausible, how come Lawes & Curry weren’t at 6 & 8 in the final in Japan then? Never know with Jones though, will we?

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        3. Maggie Alphonsi says 6/7/8 are specialist and you are running an unnecessary risk playing people out of position.I think she knows more about it than any of us

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          1. I reckon the other Maggie, Thatcher, too would have likely known that. SCW, also agrees. Surely, it’s irrational to play players out of their normal slots, especially without having played them in their ‘specialist’ positions 1st & particularly at international level. Therefore is Ed normal? OIOW, is he the solution, or the problem for England? Thinking out of the box can be inspirational, being out of yr box however, may be less so.

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    2. One thing we’ve all possibly overlooked is the influence of Proudfoot in the team composition. To me it seems He and ed have gone down the same road as the Saffers , big pack, big bench stocked with forwards. Bully the opposition and keep bullying them until they fall over. Not sure if that is completely compatible with English Rugby or sustainable over a long period of time but it looks like that is what we’re stuck with for now.

  3. The Furbank experiment appears to have been shelved, yet the oddly composed back row and the 5 locks in the match day 23 experiments continue. Oh well…
    In fairness, we’ve come off a convincing win and changes were always going to be minimal for this game.
    Watson and Wilson coming back hardly makes us weaker, though its tough on Joseph not to even make the bench.

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  4. Will be interesting to see what tactics England adopt in this game. With Halfpenny and Williams both solid under high ball and can return with interest I hope Young’s/Ford/Farrell don’t just continually kick with little success. I suspect the message will be ‘just win’ and don’t expect too much flare from England (well not that we have seen much anyway). All that said with England final game postponed and unlikely to be played looks like France are home and dry and the buzz of the comp has faded somewhat

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    1. I agree with the theory here DM, however France went to Cardiff and played a very controlled, tactical kicking game. They pressured the Welsh back-3 and it paid off with HP fumbling for Boultier’s first try. Sure they threw it about when the opportunity presented itself but it was built on territory.
      Against Wales, you have to play in the right parts of the field. They love defending, putting teams under pressure at the breakdown, so slinging it about around halfway would be England’s undoing.

      1. ‘Slinging about would be England’s undoing’? So long as they believe that, they will limit themselves. What are wingers for, apart from defending when the oppo have the ball? Obviously the live wire JJ had the ball slung at him too often last game. He got dropped!

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