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England name Tuilagi in a strong side for Six Nations opener

England’s head coach Eddie Jones has named his 23-man side to face defending champions Ireland in Dublin on Saturday for both sides’ opening fixture of the Six Nations.

Owen Farrell starts at fly-half, with Henry Slade partnering Manu Tuilagi who will make his first Six Nations start since 2013 in midfield as Elliot Daly starts at full-back, with Jonny May and Jack Nowell on the wings.

The Vunipola brothers, Mako and Billy, return to the pack, George Kruis partnering with Itoje as locks, while flankers Tom Curry and Mark Wilson make their first Six Nations appearances.

George Ford, Chris Ashton and the uncapped scrum-half Dan Robson are the replacement backs but there is no room for veteran full-back Mike Brown.

England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Jack Nowell, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Dan Robson, 22 George Ford, 23 Chris Ashton

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