Eddie Jones has handed a second England start to Jack Clifford as part of two changes for the Six Nations match against Wales on Saturday.

Harlequins’ Clifford – who has won eight caps – comes in for Tom Wood at flanker, while Jack Nowell replaces Jonny May on the wing.

Speaking about his decision to bring in 23-year-old Clifford, England coach Jones said: “He is a hard-working, young player.

“He has got a good record against Wales, he had a superb game against them in May, he knows what he is going to expect and we’re looking forward to him making an impact in our back-row play.

“Tom Wood will also play his part later in the game off the bench as a finisher.”

The reigning champions will seek to extend their winning run to 16 matches at the Principality Stadium, having overcome France 19-16 in their tournament opener.

Jones anticipates an absorbing encounter against a Wales side who stormed back from a half-time deficit to thrash Italy 33-7 in Rome.

“Playing Wales in Cardiff is one of the biggest games in world rugby and we’re excited,” he said. “These are the games you want to be part of as a player and a coach.

“We don’t need extra motivation this week; we play Test rugby because we want to be the best for England. Every game for us is important and our supporters, and Wales is our next game so it’s the most important.”


England starting XV: Mike Brown, Jack Nowell, Jonathan Joseph, Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Joe Marler, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Maro Itoje, Jack Clifford, Nathan Hughes

Replacements: Jamie George, Matt Mullan, Kyle Sinckler, Tom Wood, James Haskell, Danny Care, Ben Te’o, Jonny May 


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