England captain Owen Farrell. Billy Stickland/INPHO
shaking it up

Farrell at out-half for England while Redpath set for Scotland debut

The England captain’s move to 10 sees George Ford drop to the bench.

OWEN FARRELL WILL be back in the England No 10 shirt for Saturday’s Six Nations opener against Scotland. The England captain’s return to out-half sees George Ford drop to the bench, with Worcester Warriors centre Ollie Lawrence coming in to win just his fourth cap.

England begin their charge for a fourth Six Nations title in six years when they welcome Scotland to Twickenham for Saturday’s Calcutta Cup game [4.45pm, Virgin Media One, UTV], which is the 150th anniversary of the fixture.

England head coach Eddie Jones has had to plan for the game without five key members of his pack, with Sam Underhill, Mako Vunipola, Joe Marler, Joe Launchbury and Kyle Sinckler all unavailable.

As a result, Bath’s Will Stuart makes just his second start at tighthead. He is joined in the front-row by Saracens hooker Jamie George and Leicester Tigers loosehead Ellis Genge. In the second-row, Maro Itoje partners Exeter’s Jonny Hill, who wins his fourth Test cap.

Billy Vunipola lines up at number 8, with the backrow completed by Mark Wilson at blindside, who returns to the team for this first time since last March, and openside flanker Tom Curry.

There is a more familiar look to England’s backline, although captain Farrell moves from centre to out-half, where he is joined by Ben Youngs at scrum-half. In the centre, Henry Slade provides the experience alongside 21-year-old Lawrence, who makes his Six Nations debut.

Elliot Daly is at full-back with Anthony Watson and Jonny May on the wings.

On the bench, Bath loosehead Beno Obano could make his debut, while Courtney Lawes is also included after recovering from injury.

“It was difficult to pick the 23 players,” Jones said. “We’ve had a really good week of training, it’s been very competitive but I’ve gone with what I feel is the strongest 23 for this week.

“The Six Nations is a short tournament, it’s a real sprint so we’ll need to be on the front foot straight away.  We know Scotland will be raring to go – but so will we.”

Meanwhile Scotland have handed a debut to former England U20 international Cameron Redpath. The 21-year-old Bath centre forms a new midfield partnership alongside Gloucester’s Chris Harris.

“We have been really impressed with Cam’s contributions in the time he has been with us in camp,’ said Scotland head coach, Gregor Townsend.

“There are a number of experienced players in the backline to help make his transition to Test rugby go as smoothly as possible, and he has the mindset and skillset to thrive at this level.”

cameron-redpath-before-the-match Scotland have handed a debut to Bath's Cameron Redpath. Bryan Keane / INPHO Bryan Keane / INPHO / INPHO

Captain Stuart Hogg starts at full-back with Sean Maitland and Duhan van der Merwe on the wings. Racing 92′s Finn Russell is at out-half with Ali Price at scrum-half.

In the front-row, Rory Sutherland and Zander Fagerson pack down alongside hooker George Turner, while Scott Cummings and Jonny Gray continue their second-row partnership.

Jamie Richie, Hamish Watson and Matt Fagerson make up the Scotland backrow. 


15. Elliot Daly 

14. Anthony Watson

13. Henry Slade

12. Ollie Lawrence 

11. Jonny May 

10. Owen Farrell (captain)

9. Ben Youngs 

1. Ellis Genge 

2. Jamie George

3. Will Stuart 

4. Maro Itoje 

5. Jonny Hill 

6. Mark Wilson

7. Tom Curry 

8. Billy Vunipola

16. Luke Cowan-Dickie
17. Beno Obano
18. Harry Williams
19. Courtney Lawes
20. Ben Earl
21. Dan Robson
22. George Ford
23. Max Malins 


15. Stuart Hogg (captain)

14. Sean Maitland

13. Chris Harris 

12. Cameron Redpath 

11. Duhan van der Merwe 

10. Finn Russell 

9. Ali Price 

1. Rory Sutherland 

2. George Turner 

3. Zander Fagerson 

4. Scott Cummings 

5. Jonny Gray

6. Jamie Ritchie

7. Hamish Watson

8. Matt Fagerson 

16. David Cherry
17. Oli Kebble
18. WP Nel
19. Richie Gray
20. Gary Graham
21. Scott Steele
22. Jaco van der Walt
23. Huw Jones

Bernard Jackman, Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey chat Six Nations and its future, the contractual bottleneck and French interest in Irish stars, Leone Nakarawa’s arrival in Belfast, and the poor standard of officiating in rugby :

The42 Rugby Weekly / SoundCloud

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel