Bath Rugby’s Taulupe Faletau, Sam Underhill, Jonathan Joseph, Charlie Ewels and Will Stuart have all been named to play in this weekend’s Guinness Six Nations action.
Wales welcome an unbeaten French side to the Principality Stadium on Saturday afternoon as they look to get their campaign back on track following their 24-14 defeat at the Aviva Stadium last time out (kick-off 16:45, live on BBC). Faletau starts again at No8 for the third consecutive game.
Bath’s Director of Rugby Stuart Hooper said: “Taulupe is again showcasing his vast skillset on the international stage. We are pleased to see him progressing under the new Wales set up with Wayne Pivac. I am sure he will go well again in what is a huge game against France. On behalf of the Club, we wish him all the best.”
At Twickenham on Sunday, England host the only other unbeaten side in the competition with Ireland travelling to HQ. Eddie Jones has included all four Blue, Black and White players in his squad that will look to cut off Ireland’s chances of the Triple Crown and the Grandslam (kick-off 15:00, live on ITV). Eddie Jones has moved Jonathan Joseph to the wing, while Sam Underhill starts again at flanker, with Stuart and Ewels named as finishers.
Hooper added:“The lads that have been selected have proven their worth on the international stage and are clearly progressing within the England set up. It’s really pleasing to see Charlie, Sam, Will, and JJ included in the squad. A special mention to JJ, who will earn his 50th England cap. This is a huge achievement and one we are very proud of.
“It is going to be a tough match at Twickenham. Ireland are a dangerous side to face but it’s one that I am sure the lads with thrive off. To all of those involved from the Blue, Black and White, we’re extremely proud and we’ll be watching from afar.”
Wayne Pivac has made two changes to his Wales side to face France with Taulupe Faletau starting at No. 8 for the third successive game.
Gareth Davies and Ross Moriarty coming into the side. Davies will line-up at scrum-back alongside Dan Biggar in the only change in the backline.
Moriarty comes into the side at blindside flanker to set-up an all British and Irish Lions back-row.
WALES SIDE TO FACE FRANCE:
15. Leigh Halfpenny, 14. George North, 13. Nick Tompkins, 12. Hadleigh Parkes, 11. Josh Adams, 10. Dan Biggar, 9. Gareth Davies; 1. Wyn Jones, 2. Ken Owens, 3. Dillon Lewis, 4. Jake Ball, 5. Alun Wyn Jones (C), 6. Ross Moriarty, 7. Justin Tipuric, 8. Taulupe Faletau
16. Ryan Elias, 17. Rob Evans, 18. Leon Brown, 19. Will Rowlands, 20. Aaron Wainwright, 21. Tomos Williams, 22. Jarrod Evans, 23. Johnny McNicholl
In the front row Joe Marler, Jamie George and Kyle Sinckler are named with George Kruis and Maro Itoje in partnership in the second row for the third round of the Guinness Six Nations at Twickenham Stadium.
Courtney Lawes is named at blind-side flanker with Sam Underhill at openside and Tom Curry at number 8.
Ben Youngs starts at scrum half with Willi Heinz named as a finisher. George Ford and captain Owen Farrell will play fly half and inside centre. Manu Tuilagi is named at outside centre, returning to the side after missing the Scotland match through injury.
Elliot Daly is selected at full back with Jonathan Joseph, who will win his 50th cap this weekend, and Jonny May on the wings.
Charlie Ewels is named as a finisher alongside hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie, props Ellis Genge and Will Stuart and lock Joe Launchbury. Ben Earl, who made his England debut against Scotland is also named in the match day 23, as is Henry Slade who returns from injury.
England starting XV
15. Elliot Daly, 14. Jonny May, 13. Manu Tuilagi, 12. Owen Farrell (C), 11. Jonathan Joseph, 10. George Ford, 9. Ben Youngs; 1. Joe Marler, 2. Jamie George, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. George Kruis, 6. Courtney Lawes, 7. Sam Underhill, 8. Tom Curry
16. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17. Ellis Genge, 18. Will Stuart, 19. Joe Launchbury, 20. Charlie Ewels, 21. Ben Earl, 22. Willi Heinz, 23. Henry Slade