Six Nations: England’s Jonathan Joseph and Danny Care start against Wales
|Six Nations 2018: England v Wales|
|Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday, 10 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT|
|Coverage: Live radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales & BBC Radio Cymru. Live text commentary and highlights on the BBC website and app.|
Centre Jonathan Joseph returns to the England starting XV for Saturday’s Six Nations match with Wales in one of two changes from the side that beat Italy.
Bath’s Joseph replaces Ben Te’o, who drops to the bench, and will partner Owen Farrell in England’s midfield.
Scrum-half Danny Care starts in place of the injured Ben Youngs, with Richard Wigglesworth among the replacements.
“We’ll be well prepared and ready to go out there and beat Wales on Saturday,” said head coach Eddie Jones.
Care becomes England’s most capped scrum-half, winning his 78th cap to overtake World Cup winner Matt Dawson.
“Danny Care very much deserves the honour of being the most capped England scrum-half and I am sure he’ll make the most of his opportunity on Saturday,” added Jones.
Youngs, who started at scrum-half against Italy, will miss the rest of the tournament because a knee injury sustained in Rome.
Recalled replacement nine Wigglesworth, who is renowned for the quality of his kicking game, last played for England at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and at 34 is the oldest player in the squad.
Care’s chance to ‘change the narrative’
Dawson told BBC Radio 5 live that the rest of the campaign will give Care, who has won 43 of his Test caps off the bench, the chance to edge ahead ahead in Jones’ pecking order and claim a starting spot.
“Danny Care will have a good shot at changing that narrative now,” said Dawson.
“Time after time he has come on and changed the game in the last 20 minutes.
“We don’t really know if he can run a game from the start. The last really top-level start he made for England was away in France nearly two years ago.
“The speed and intensity in that first 10 or 15 minutes is a step up from what he faces playing for Harlequins.
“I was extremely proud to have that record, but I am really pleased for Danny. First and foremost, both he and Ben are really good friends of mine.”
England still on for unprecedented three-peat
Defending champions England, seeking a third title in a row, opened their campaign with a seven-try, 46-15 romp in Rome, while Wales were far too good for Scotland, winning 34-7 in Cardiff.
Wales have selected an unchanged starting XV, although Northampton’s Lions winger George North is back on the bench after proving his fitness in a club game last weekend.
England coach Eddie Jones has predicted that opposition fly-half Rhys Patchell – making only his fourth Test start – will come under “enormous pressure” at Twickenham, suggesting he and his other young team-mates could “struggle with the expectation”.
England team to face Wales: Brown; Watson, Joseph, Farrell, May; Ford, Care; M Vunipola, Hartley, Cole, Launchbury, Itoje, Lawes, Robshaw, Simmonds.
Replacements: George, Hepburn, Williams, Kruis, Underhill, Wigglesworth, Te’o, Nowell
Former England fly-half Paul Grayson on BBC Radio 5 live:
England sometimes have a disconnect out wide where the defence doesn’t push up at the same time. That is where Wales started to play in the 2015 World Cup win over England.
I think England have some issues when the pace is high. If opponents have enough nerve to accept that midfield press and try and get outside they can cause problems
I don’t think that England’s defence is where defence coach Paul Gustard wants it, certainly not where Eddie Jones wants it to be.
Former Wales flanker Martyn Williams on BBC Radio 5 live:
This time last week I would have said Wales have zero chance. Now we have a chance.
But I think England will win. They are a juggernaut at the moment. Wales will give them one hell of a game but I predict England by one score.