Dan Robson set to make England debut in Dublin
Date: 31 Jan 2019
Wasps' Dan Robson, Elliot Daly and Nathan Hughes have been named by England head coach Eddie Jones in his squad to face Ireland in their opening Guinness Six Nations match in Dublin on 2 February 2019 (kick off 4.45pm, live on ITV).
Robson is set to become the 66th Wasps player to be capped by England having been named as a finisher, alongside Wasps teammate Hughes. Daly is named at full back for the Six Nations opener.
Owen Farrell will captain England at fly half with Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers) named outside him at 12. Tuilagi will start his first match for England since the third Test against New Zealand in June 2014.
Brothers Mako and Billy Vunipola (Saracens) will play for England for the first time this season having last featured in the Test series against South Africa in June 2018.
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks) and Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons) will make their Guinness Six Nations debuts having been named at openside and blindside flanker respectively.
Daly, Jonny May (Leicester Tigers) and Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) are named in the back three.
The highly-experienced Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers) will start at scrum half.
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: “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.”
On Dan Robson: “He’s done well in club rugby for a long period of time and he’s come into the squad and fitted in well. He is communicating well with the players and really deserves his opportunity.”
On selecting Manu Tuilagi Jones said: “I just felt for this game the best option was to play Owen Farrell at 10 and Manu as a like-for-like replacement for Ben Te’o. Manu has impressed us at the training camp, and is right to play.”
On the returning Vunipola brothers: “It is nice to have Mako and Billy back. Mako is obviously a world-class loose head. We missed him during the autumn but he has come back in good nick and really committed to be the best he can be. With Billy we haven’t had him for a long time. He’s also in great nick and ready to play well for us.”
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)
Finishers (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)