England make three changes to face Wales at Twickenham
Eddie Jones has named an unchanged starting XV to face Wales in the Six Nations at Twickenham on Saturday
Manu Tuilagi will be on the bench for England
The Leicester centre has not played for England since June 2014
Eddie Jones has announced an unchanged starting XV to host Warren Gatland’s Wales at Twickenham on Saturday.
There are four changes among the replacements with Luke Cowan-Dickie, Kieran Brookes, Joe Launchbury and Manu Tuilagi coming onto the bench for England.
“We’ve picked our best 23 to get the job done on Saturday,” said Jones. “The squad have prepared well this week and I’m happy with how things have progressed.
“Manu Tuilagi’s selection to the match day squad is based more on potential than his recent performances in the Premiership. He has trained well this week and I am pleased with what I’ve seen.
“It is a shame that Jamie George misses out through injury and we wish him well in his recovery, but it provides a great opportunity for Luke Cowan-Dickie to show what he’s about. We’ve picked our best 23 to get the job done on Saturday.”
The teams meet at Twickenham in the Six Nations on Saturday for the first time since Wales’ momentous group-stage 28-25 victory in September.
England have since won their first three Six Nations matches and come into the clash as slender favourites.They have also won their last two encounters with Wales in the RBS 6 Nations but have not won three in a row against them since 2004.
The men in white are attempting to claim a 25th Triple Crown since their first in 1883, although just three of those have been claimed during the RBS 6 Nations era.
|Date (All times GMT)||Fixture||Coverage|
|Sat, 12 Mar (13:30 KO)||Ireland v Italy||ITV and BBC Radio|
|Sat, 12 Mar (16:00 KO)||England v Wales||ITV and BBC Radio 5 live|
|Sun, 13 Mar, (15:00 KO)||Scotland v France||BBC One and BBC Radio|
KRUIS PROMISES NEW ENGLAND
“We’re a new team almost,” Kruis, 26, told BBC Radio 5 live.
“There are a lot of the same players, but we have a lot of confidence about us, we’ve been training in different ways, and we have a lot more detail and clarity in our plans.
“The coaches have come in from the start and told us exactly how we want to play.
“So expect something big from us at the weekend.”
And Saracens forward Kruis insists England have not dwelt on the World Cup defeat as they prepare for a potential Six Nations title decider at Twickenham against a Wales side with two wins and one draw in the tournament.
“That’s definitely a period we have got past now,” he added.
“Obviously at the World Cup they got one up on us. But it’s not about revenge or anything, we are looking forward and we are pretty confident this weekend.”
The battle of the number eights is set to be a fascinating sub-plot on Saturday, with England’s in-form Billy Vunipola up against his cousin Taulupe Faletau.
“He’s a man who likes to be told exactly what he needs to do, and be put in the positions to do it,” Kruis said of his Sarries’ team-mate Vunipola.
“He’s been phenomenal for us and he’s one of many who have been stepping up.”