Billy Vunipola named in England team to face Ireland

England are chasing back-to-back Six Nations

BY Sinéad Farrell 10:17 Thursday 16 March 2017, 10:17 16 Mar 2017

Adam Davy/PA Wire/PA Images

Eddie Jones has made two changes to the England side hoping to claim a second consecutive Grand Slam against Ireland this weekend, with Billy Vunipola and Anthony Watson both getting the nod.

Vunipola is named at number 8 as Nathan Hughes makes way, while Watson replaces Jack Nowel, as England go in search of a record-breaking 19th straight victory.

Speaking ahead of the game, Jones said:

"Welve had a really good week’s preparation."

"The intensity of training has been good. It's going to be quite an occasion in Dublin so we understand we have to be prepared emotionally, physically and mentally."

"The message to the players has been quite simple, we're playing Ireland on Saturday and that is the only thing that counts. We are focusing on preparing well, the only thing we can control is our preparation."

England starting XV.

15. Mike Brown

14. Anthony Watson

13. Jonathan Joseph

12. Owen Farrell

11. Elliot Daly

10. George Ford

9. Ben Youngs

 

1. Joe Marler

2. Dylan Hartley (captain)

3. Dan Cole

4. Joe Launchbury

5. Courtney Lawes

6. Maro Itoje

7. James Haskell

8. Billy Vunipola

 

Replacements

16. Jamie George

17. Mako Vunipola

18. Kyle Sinckler

19. Tom Wood

20. Nathan Hughes

21. Danny Care

22. Ben Te’o

23. Jack Nowell

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