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Rugby News

Ford leads out England at Twickenham

George Ford will captain England in the opening fixture of the summer against Wales at Twickenham on Sunday.

The Leicester Tigers fly-half will be joined in the starting line-up by club colleagues Dan Cole and Ellis Genge, while scrum-half Ben Youngs is among the replacements.

Ford, who also led England against Japan last season in his 50th Test appearance, said: “This week we have had some great prep coming off the back of a great 12 days in Treviso where we did a lot of hard work in the heat and in the humidity.

“To get back here and have a game at the end of the week is great and we have turned our focus to tactically how we want to play, what we want to look like defensively and how we want to play with the ball in hand. We want to be adaptable and we keep on challenging ourselves in training to do that.”

Head coach Eddie Jones includes debutants Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath) and Willi Heinz (Gloucester) for the first Quilter International of the season.
Anthony Watson returns to play in his first Test since March 2018 following injury and hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie makes his first start after 11 appearances as a replacement.
Uncapped trio Lewis Ludlam, Joe Marchant and Jack Singleton are named among the replacements.
Jones said: “Our selection and tactics in our next four games are all about developing a team capable of winning in Japan and our target of being ready when we get on the plane on the 8th of September to win the World Cup.”

Kick-off at Twickenham is at 2.00pm on Sunday. There is live coverage on Sky Sports.

England (v Wales, Sunday 2.00pm)
15 Elliot Daly (Saracens, 30 caps)
14 Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 22 caps)
12 Piers Francis (Northampton Saints, 4 caps)
11 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 33 caps)
10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 55 caps) (c)
9 Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)(vc)
1 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 9 caps)
2 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 11 caps)
3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 85 caps)
4 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 58 caps)
5 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 10 caps)
6 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 10 caps)
7 Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)(vc)    
8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 41 caps)
16 Jack Singleton (Saracens, uncapped)
17 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 59 caps)
18 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 17 caps)
19 George Kruis (Saracens, 32 caps)
20 Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
21 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 85 caps)
22 Joe Marchant (Harlequins, uncapped)
23 Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 4 caps)

Wales: 15 Liam Williams (Saracens) (55 caps), 14 George North (Ospreys) (83 caps), 13 Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (73 caps), 12 Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (15 caps), 11 Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues) (10 caps), 10 Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys) (26 caps), 9 Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (41 caps); 1 Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (28 caps), 2 Ken Owens (Scarlets) (64 caps), 3 Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (40 caps), 4 Adam Beard (Ospreys) (13 caps), 5 Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (c) (125 caps), 6 Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (8 caps), 7 Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (64 caps), 8 Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (31 caps).

Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee (Dragons) (18 caps), 17 Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (12 caps), 18 Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues) (12 caps), 19 Jake Ball (Scarlets) (32 caps), 20 Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (17 caps), 21 Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues) (7 caps), 22 Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints) (70 caps), 23 Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (13 caps).