British & Irish Lions

Watson, Wilson return for England clash against Wales

Anthony Watson (AP)
Anthony Watson (AP)

Anthony Watson and Mark Wilson have been recalled for their first England match since the World Cup final as Eddie Jones named his side to play Wales in the Six Nations on Saturday.

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Bath wing Watson has replaced Jonathan Joseph, with Wilson recalled in place of injured back-row forward Sam Underhill in the only other change to the side that beat Ireland 24-12 last time out.

The backline for the Twickenham contest is the same one that England deployed in their 32-12 defeat by South Africa in November's World Cup final in Yokohama.

Watson is fit following a calf injury and he replaces Bath team-mate Joseph, who is now no longer even in the match-day 23 a fortnight after winning his 50th cap.

Wilson returns at openside flanker despite having started just once for Sale this season because of a knee problem.

He was preferred to Lewis Ludlam and Ben Earl, with Jones again opting for a six-two split between forwards and backs on the bench.

Reigning Grand Slam champions Wales, in their first season under coach Wayne Pivac, have lost their past two Six Nations matches, against Ireland and France.

But Jones, after announcing his team Thursday, said: "Wales are a very tough, well-coached side and they've been building on their attack since Wayne Pivac has taken over.

"It's always a tough game against Wales and we know they will bring that toughness to all the contest areas."

Although France are the only side left in this season's Six Nations who can complete a Grand Slam, a win for England over Wales would keep them in title contention.

Veteran Australian coach Jones named his side Thursday with speculation growing that England's final game of the Championship, against Italy in Rome, would be postponed due to the coronavirus.

Wales are due to announce their team later on Thursday.



15 Elliot Daly, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Tom Curry, 7 Mark Wilson, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler

Substitutes: 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


15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Josh Navidi, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Rob Evans

Substitutes: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Aaron Shingler, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Jarrod Evans, 23 Johnny McNicholl

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