Six Nations 2016: England v Wales

Manu Tuilagi
Manu Tuilagi's last England cap came against New Zealand in June 2014
RBS Six Nations
Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday, 12 March Kick-off: 16:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on ITV, commentary on BBC Radio 5 live & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

England and Wales have both named unchanged starting line-ups for Saturday's pivotal encounter.

Centre Manu Tuilagi returns to the England bench as one of four new faces alongside Luke Cowan-Dickie, Kieran Brookes and Joe Launchbury.

Wales have made three changes among their replacements, with Paul James, Luke Charteris and Rhys Webb coming in.

Scrum-half Webb is poised for his first Test appearance of 2016, having missed the World Cup with a foot injury.

England: Brown, Watson, Joseph, Farrell, Nowell, Ford, Youngs; Marler, Hartley (capt), Cole, Itoje, Kruis, Robshaw, Haskell, Vunipola

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Vunipola, Brookes, Launchbury, Clifford, Care, Tuilagi, Daly

Wales: Williams, Cuthbert, Davies, Roberts, North, Biggar, Davies; Evans, Baldwin, Lee, Davies, Alun Wyn Jones, Lydiate, Warburton (capt), Faletau

Replacements: Owens, James, Francis, Charteris, Tipuric, Webb, Priestland, Anscombe

Six Nations schedule
Date (All times GMT)FixtureCoverage
Sat, 12 Mar (13:30 KO)Ireland v ItalyITV and BBC Radio
Sat, 12 Mar (16:00 KO)England v WalesITV and BBC Radio 5 live
Sun, 13 Mar, (15:00 KO)Scotland v FranceBBC One and BBC Radio

COMMENTATOR'S NOTES

BBC Sport's Eddie Butler: "The forecast is good, isn't it? Blue skies around, high cloud, no wind; low temperatures to cool fevered brows.

"What's that rumble then? That'll be the thunder of number eights. Taulupe Faletau and Billy Vunipola on full collision course. What are the chances of it being the biggest dummy run in the history of the Six Nations, the meeting that never was?

"Thunder turns into a rush of passing air, the seismic into the soft whir of a rugby pall being passed.

"Taulupe avoids Billy, and Billy stays out of Taulupe's way. And the ball goes about its business and stays visible. The chances of that happening? Slim.

"There's a storm coming. Batten down the hatches and take cover."

VIEW FROM BOTH CAMPS

England head coach Eddie Jones: "We're a new England. We don't refer back to that game (the World Cup defeat against Wales).

"Seventy percent of our players are the same but we have a different philosophy of how we train, behave and play.

"We're in a good position for the game."

Wales head coach Warren Gatland: "I think both teams have got very strong defences. We pride ourselves on being able to play without the ball, and England are pretty good in that regard.

"We won't be throwing the ball all over the place, we will be pretty direct.

"We need to earn the right to go wide, and we've got players to get us across the advantage line, and hopefully when we do get across the advantage line we can play some pretty positive rugby."

Anthony Watson

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Wales have won on two of their last three visits to Twickenham - in the 2015 World Cup and the 2012 Six Nations.
  • England are bidding for a third consecutive Six Nations win over Wales for the first time since 2004.
  • Only one win separates these sides in the all-time head-to-head - England lead by 58 wins to Wales' 57 (12 draws).

England

  • England have won 10 consecutive Six Nations home matches since their 19-12 defeat by Wales in February 2012.
  • Victory against Wales would give them a 25th Triple Crown.

Wales

  • Wales are unbeaten in their last seven Six Nations games (W6, D1), their best run since winning eight in a row between 2007-09.
  • They are targeting a fourth title since head coach Warren Gatland took charge in 2008.

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)

Touch judges: Jerome Garces (France) & Mathieu Raynal (France)

TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

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