Rugby-England unchanged to face Wales at Twickenham

England have named an unchanged team for the first time since the 2019 World Cup final as they prepare to face Wales in the Six Nations at Twickenham on Saturday, with Ellis Genge the only change on the bench from the side who beat Italy last week.


Reuters | Updated: 08-02-2024 18:50 IST | Created: 08-02-2024 18:50 IST
Rugby-England unchanged to face Wales at Twickenham

England have named an unchanged team for the first time since the 2019 World Cup final as they prepare to face Wales in the Six Nations at Twickenham on Saturday, with Ellis Genge the only change on the bench from the side who beat Italy last week. In the squad released on Thursday, loosehead prop Genge returns in place of Beno Obano after overcoming the foot injury that made him a late withdrawal in Rome.

Such continuity is extremely rare, usually due to injuries, but Borthwick's squad came through last week's opener relatively unscathed. Although England's 27-24 victory was their smallest winning margin against Italy, they showed more ambition in attack than during their kick-based World Cup campaign last year and, after fighting back from an early 10-0 deficit, were in control for most of the second half.

With five players having made their debuts, coach Steve Borthwick is keen to give them and the new systems another opportunity to bed in. "With a new player group and a number of new caps, we have tried to develop our game on both sides of the ball," Borthwick said. "Such changes take time, and I was pleased how quickly the players settled and adapted last weekend.

"We're delighted to be back playing in front of a sold-out Twickenham Stadium - the visit of the Wales team is always a fixture that creates a special atmosphere." It is not a place Wales have enjoyed visiting for a long time. They have not won a Six Nations game there since 2012 and that, along with 2008, are their only championship victories there in 36 years – though they did slip in a famous World Cup pool stage win in 2015 that contributed to England's early exit.

Wales named their team

on Wednesday, with coach Warren Gatland making seven changes to his starting lineup to reflect the Jekyll and Hyde performance that saw them come from 27-0 down to lose 27-26

to Scotland in Cardiff last week. England team 15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 32 caps) 14. Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, 4 caps) 13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 58 caps) 12. Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, 1 cap) 11. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 65 caps) 10. George Ford (Sale Sharks, 92 caps) – vice captain 9. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 12 caps) 1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 89 caps) 2. Jamie George (Saracens, 86 caps) – captain 3. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 34 caps) 4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 77 caps) – vice captain 5. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 19 caps) 6. Ethan Roots (Exeter Chiefs, 1 cap) 7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 31 caps) 8. Ben Earl (Saracens, 26 caps) Replacements: 16. Theo Dan (Saracens, 8 caps) 17. Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 58 caps) – vice captain 18. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 108 caps) 19. Alex Coles (Northampton Saints, 4 caps) 20. Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins, 1 cap) 21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 97 caps) 22. Fin Smith (Northampton Saints, 1 cap) 23. Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter Chiefs, 1 cap)

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