Ford, Joseph and Watson all start in Dublin finale

16 March 2017

With a Grand Slam title in their sights, Bath Rugby trio, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph and Anthony Watson will all start for England in the final match of the RBS 6 Nations against Ireland on Saturday; kick-off 17.00 (live on ITV).

Ford retains his place at fly-half and following his hat-trick against Scotland, Joseph starts at 13. Anthony Watson, another try scorer in last weekend’s 61-21 victory, comes into the starting line-up ahead of Jack Nowell.

Saturday’s match will also see 30-year old back-row forward Tom Wood (Northampton Saints) win his 50th cap for England having made his debut against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in 2011.

“We’ve had a really good week’s preparation,” said England head coach Jones.  “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 mood in camp has been positive. We’re very excited ahead of what is a huge opportunity for the players. You sense the intensity has stepped up; it has in training, definitely.

“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.

“Ireland not having anything to play for means they have the courage to fail which frees them up mentally, we are a little bit vulnerable because we have already been crowned the RBS 6 Nations champions and we had a big win against Scotland, so for us it’s getting the right mind-set for the game.

“I congratulate Tom Wood on his personal milestone. He is a committed team man, who has fought his way back into this set-up and has been a great contributor to the team on and off the field. He works very hard and it’s a great reward for him.”

England match-day 23 for the RBS 6 Nations game against Ireland

15. Mike Brown (vice captain, Harlequins, 59 caps)

14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 25 caps)

13. Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 32 caps)

12. Owen Farrell (vice captain, Saracens, 51 caps)

11. Elliot Daly (Wasps, 12 caps)  

10. George Ford (Bath Rugby, 34 caps)

9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 69 caps)

1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 50 caps)

2. Dylan Hartley (captain, Northampton Saints, 83 caps)

3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 73 caps)

4. Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 41 caps)  

5. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 57 caps)

6. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 11caps)

7. James Haskell (Wasps, 74 caps) 

8. Billy Vunipola (vice captain, Saracens 33 caps)


16. Jamie George (Saracens, 16 caps)

17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 41 caps)

18. Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 7 caps)

19. Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 49 caps)

20. Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 7 caps)

21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 70 caps) 

22. Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors, 7 caps) 

23. Jack Nowell  (Exeter Chiefs, 22 caps) 


Bath Rugby duo Luke Charteris and Taulupe Faletau are also named in an unchanged Welsh 23 to play France in Paris, kick-off 15.45 local time.

Following a bruising game against the Irish, both are in line to win their 74th and 66th caps respectively if called upon from the bench.


15. Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon) (70 Caps)

14. George North (Northampton Saints) (68 Caps)

13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (63 Caps)

12. Scott Williams (Scarlets) (45 Caps)

11. Liam Williams (Scarlets) (41 Caps)

10. Dan Biggar (Ospreys) (55 Caps)

9. Rhys Webb (Ospreys) (27 Caps)

1. Rob Evans (Scarlets) (16 Caps)

2. Ken Owens (Scarlets) (49 Caps)

3. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (21 Caps)

4. Jake Ball (Scarlets) (25 Caps)

5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys)(109 Caps) (CAPTAIN)

6. Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues) (73 Caps)

7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (50 Caps)

8. Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby) (16 Caps)


16. Scott Baldwin (Ospreys) (32 Caps)

17. Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (11 Caps)

18. Samson Lee (Scarlets) (33 Caps)

19. Luke Charteris (Bath) (73 Caps)

20. Taulupe Faletau (Bath) (65 Caps)

21. Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (24 Caps)

22. Sam Davies (Ospreys) (6 Caps)

23. Jamie Roberts (Harlequins) (90 Caps)


New to Bath Rugby?

Join Bath Rugby for:

  • Epic, elite entertainment
  • Passionate, family-friendly atmosphere
  • Email Previews & Post-match reports

Find out more or enter your email address to get started.