Wilson starts for England in Dublin

Thursday 31 January 2019

Newcastle Falcons flanker Mark Wilson starts for England on Saturday as they open their Guinness Six Nations campaign away to Ireland.

Wilson, who recently signed a new four-year contract with the Gallagher Premiership club, starts at blind-side flanker, winning his ninth cap after starting all four of England's November tests.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's 4.45pm kick-off at Dublin's Aviva Stadium, England head coach Eddie Jones said: “I think it is quite clear to beat Ireland you have to beat them in the contest area.

"They are very good at the breakdown and in the air. Both those areas are a priority for us. Traditionally England and Ireland games are always very close, they are tough affairs, there is a lot of emotion in the games so our ability to finish the game strongly is going to be vital.

“It is well documented no-one thinks we can win, but I can tell you everyone inside our camp believes we can win. We are hugely looking forward to the weekend.”

On England’s preparation in Portugal, Jones added: “This camp has been vitally important for us to get our understanding on how we want to play the game. It has been also enormously important for us is to get that togetherness off the field and the senior players and staff have been working very hard in those areas. We have a great group of players, hardworking and a good mix who have come together really well.”

England starting XV (485 caps)

15 Elliot Daly (Wasps, 25 caps)

14 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 40 caps)

13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 17 caps)

12 Manu Tuiagi (Leicester Tigers, 27 caps)

11 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 29 caps)

10 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 65 caps)

9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 80 caps)

1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 51 caps)

2 Jamie George (Saracens, 32 caps)

3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 17 caps)

4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 26 caps)

5 George Kruis (Saracens, 27 caps)

6 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 8 caps)

7 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 5 caps)

8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 36 caps)

Replacements (206 caps)

16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 7 caps)

17 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 5 caps)

18 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 15 caps)

19 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 68 caps)

20 Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 18 caps)

21 Dan Robson (Wasps, uncapped)

22 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 51 caps)

23 Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks, 42 caps)

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