Saturday 22 October 2016

Danny Care and Joe Marler named in England line-up for Six Nations opener

Duncan Bech

Published 04/02/2016 | 10:12

England's scrum half Danny Care is tackled
England's scrum half Danny Care is tackled

England have selected Danny Care at scrum-half and Joe Marler at loosehead prop for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations match against Scotland.

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Care has been preferred ahead of long-term rival Ben Youngs in the number nine jersey for the trip to Edinburgh, while Marler has been given the nod ahead of Mako Vunipola.

Back row Jack Clifford, prop Paul Hill and centre Ollie Devoto are set to make their international debuts off the bench at Murrayfield.

Lock Courtney Lawes is included among the replacements after passing a fitness test on his hamstring injury.

"There were some tight calls on selection, but we have picked a match-day squad with a blend of experience and youth," England head coach Eddie Jones said.

Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley leads a starting XV containing 512 caps - but no debutants - as England seek to retain the Calcutta Cup, which they have held since 2009.

Jones has announced that Owen Farrell - selected at centre - number eight Billy Vunipola and full-back Mike Brown have been appointed vice-captains to support Hartley.

Chris Robshaw is moved across the back row to blindside flanker with James Haskell taking his previous position at openside.

Jones' solution to England's perennial midfield conundrum is to field George Ford at fly-half and Farrell at inside centre in their second Test start together.

The other options at 12 - Henry Slade and Manu Tuilagi - are to miss all or a substantial chunk of the Six Nations though injury.

"The boys have worked hard since coming into camp to understand how I want the team to play going forward," Jones said.

"We have prepared well and I am pleased with the progress the group has made in the short time we've had together.

"We are indebted to the work Stuart Lancaster has done over last four years. I have inherited a talented and highly motivated group of players.

"We are confident we can go to Edinburgh and win, but we're in no doubt it will be a huge challenge.

"Playing at Murrayfield in front of a passionate Scottish crowd will be a real test for this team but one I know we can rise to."

Lancaster, Jones' predecessor, gave three players debuts in his first match in charge - also at Murrayfield - and capped another four off the bench.

England team to face Scotland: (15-9) M Brown; A Watson, J Joseph, O Farrell, J Nowell; G Ford, D Care; (1-8) J Marler, D Hartley, D Cole; J Launchbury, G Kruis; C Robshaw, J Haskell, B Vunipola.

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