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Six Nations 2024: England start the 15th match unchanged to take on Wales at Twickenham

Six Nations 2024: England start the 15th match unchanged to take on Wales at Twickenham

  • Written by Chris Jones
  • BBC rugby union correspondent

Image source, Getty Images

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George Ford will continue to lead England's attack from fly-half against Wales

Guinness Six Nations: England v Wales

place: Twickenham Stadium date: Saturday 10 February Starting: 16:45 GMT

coverage: Listen to BBC Radio 5 Live, live transcript on the BBC Sport website and app, and watch on ITV1

England have named an unchanged starting XI for Saturday's Six Nations clash against Wales at Twickenham.

This is the first time that England has fielded an unchanged starting lineup since the 2019 World Cup final.

In the only change to the squad after the win in Italy, vice-captain Elis Genge returned from injury to the bench.

“We are delighted to be back playing in front of a sold-out Twickenham Stadium this Saturday,” said Steve Borthwick, the team’s technical director.

“A visit to Wales is always a match that creates a special atmosphere.”

Borthwick named a new-look squad for their Six Nations opener against Italy last weekend, with five players making their international debuts in the 27-24 win.

So the England coach opted for continuity as his side looked to build on the win in Rome.

Borthwick added: “With a new group of players and a number of international appearances, we have tried to develop our style of play on both sides of the ball.”

“Changes like this take time, and I am happy with how quickly the players adapted and adapted last weekend against Italy.”

Prop Genji had late withdrawn from the squad to face the Azzurri but has recovered from a foot injury and is replacing Benno Obano.

The experienced George Ford retains his starting place after leading England to victory in Rome, with Finn Smith among the substitutes.

Vice-captain Ford, who shares the role with Genji, told BBC 5 Live Breakfast: “It was a good start, you always want to start a Six Nations tournament with a win.”

“There are many positives for me: the way I felt on the pitch, the way we tried to play with the ball and the way we responded to some setbacks.

video caption,

Six Nations: Who will be the next Six Nations stars?

“But having said that, we need to be a lot better at the same time, and we probably need to be more consistent across the board to build the game better and score more points.

“And that's what we're after this week.”

Meanwhile, Scotland dominated Wales for 45 minutes in Cardiff, before scoring 26 unanswered points in the second half and narrowly losing 27-26.

Ford says he expects Wales to fix the issues before half-time and believes Warren Gatland's side will put in a markedly improved display from the off this weekend.

Ford added: “We will prepare to present the best version of the Wales team, 100%. You saw how dangerous they were in the second half.”

“The likelihood that they will fix what happened in the first half is high, of course it is.

He added: “So we have to prepare for the best version of Wales from the start of the match, and we realize that they are a team that never disappears, never stops, fights, fights, fights.”

“So we need a full 80-minute performance this weekend.”

Wing Immanuel Feyi-Waboso could win his second Test cap if he comes off the bench for England against the country of his birth.

Cardiff-born Feyi-Waboso played rugby at age group for Wales but chose to make himself available for England at senior level.

“He came on and did well against Italy. He had an incredibly calm, composed and mature personality,” Borthwick said.

“He's trained very well and in the little time I've known him he hasn't been bothered. I have nothing but good things to say about him.”

England: steward; Freeman, Slade, Dingwall, Daly; Ford Mitchell. Marler, George (Captain), Stuart, Itoje, Chisum, Roots, Underhill, Earl.

Replacements: Dunn, Genji, Cole, Coles, Cunningham South, Kerr, F. Smith, V. Waboso

video caption,

Six Nations 2024: A weekend in the life of BBC Sport pundit and former Wales captain Warburton

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