England’s Manu Tuilagi ruled out for Wales clash Courtney Lawes returns


England center Manu Tuilagi has been ruled out of Saturday’s Six Nations clash at home to Wales after sustaining a hamstring injury in training, the RFU announced on Thursday.

Tuilagi had been included in coach Eddie Jones’ lineup for the game, with the 30-year-old returning after the latest in his long string of injuries.

“It was confirmed after a CT scan on Thursday afternoon after practice that Tuilagi suffered a low-grade hamstring injury,” the team said in a statement, adding that Joe Marchant had been recalled and would train with the team.

Tuilagi made his debut in 2011 but has missed 79 games since then, including 50 of 71 since Jones took over after the 2015 World Cup.

The absence of the powerful center will be a blow for the team, who will miss the firepower he brings to the midfield.

England are second in the Six Nations standings with six points after two matches, three points behind leaders France.

The RFU said Jones will name an updated squad on match day.

Prior to Tuilagi’s injury, Courtney Lawes was set to become team captain on the blind flank after missing the first two games with a concussion, while Harry Randall had another chance to impress the scrum half.

Maro Itoje and Charlie Ewels were named as locks, Tom Curry was expected to stay at the open flank and Alex Dombrandt was named No. 8. Luke Cowan-Dickie was expected to start at hooker with Kyle Sinckler set to earn his 50th selection at the prop.

Max Malins and Jack Nowell were named wingers, with Freddie Steward at full-back. Randall, who looked sharp for 55 minutes in the win over Italy, is set to earn his fourth cap, while substitute Ben Youngs will become England’s most capped player with 115 if successful.

Wales will give No8 Taulupe Faletau his first rugby try in seven months but winger Louis Rees-Zammit was dropped from the matchday squad.

Faletau has played just two club games since suffering an ankle injury during the British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa last year, but was drafted to start by the coach Wayne Pivac in a back row that also includes Ross Moriarty, who goes blind. flank, and Taine Basham.

“He trained well during the week and got 80 minutes last week. From our point of view he brings a lot of experience, so we are very happy to have Toby [Faletau] back,” Pivac said in a Welsh Rugby statement on Thursday.

The return of winger Josh Adams and the form of a rejuvenated Alex Cuthbert, earning his 50th cap on Saturday, means there’s no place in the squad – or squad – for Rees-Zammit in a surprise omission.

“It’s also great that Josh Adams is back from injury. It means Louis Rees-Zammit is the unfortunate one missing this week,” Pivac said.

“But we’ve looked at the opposition that we face and the nasty injuries that players pick up from time to time, and we think in this particular game, the way the game will go, that Alex and Josh are the right selection .”

The rest of the squad is as expected, with fly-half Dan Biggar facing an intriguing battle with his counterpart Smith in the England side.

He will be alongside scrum-half Tomos Williams, with a midfield partnership of Nick Tompkins and Owen Watkin.

The front row of the scrum features hooker Ryan Elias and either side of him are props Wyn Jones and Tomas Francis, while Will Rowlands and Adam Beard are the lock couple.

Fly-half Gareth Anscombe and experienced center Jonathan Davies are among the substitutes.

XV of England

Freddie Steward, Max Malins, Henry Slade, Jack Nowell, Marcus Smith, Harry Randall, Ellis Genge, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Kyle Sinckler, Charlie Ewels, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Alex Dombrandt

Replacements: Jamie George, Joe Marler, Will Stuart, Nick Isiekwe, Sam Simmonds, Ben Young, George Ford, Elliot Daly, Joe Marchant

Liam Williams, Alex Cuthbert, Owen Watkin, Nick Tompkins, Josh Adams, Dan Biggar, Tomos Williams, Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Will Rowlands, Adam Beard, Ross Moriarty, Taine Basham, Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: Dewi Lake, Gareth Thomas, Leon Brown, Seb Davies, Jac Morgan, Kieran Hardy, Gareth Anscombe, Jonathan Davies.

Wales XV

Liam Williams, Alex Cuthbert, Owen Watkin, Nick Tompkins, Josh Adams, Dan Biggar, Tomos Williams, Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Will Rowlands, Adam Beard, Ross Moriarty, Taine Basham, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Dewi Lake, Gareth Thomas, Leon Brown, Seb Davies, Jac Morgan, Kieran Hardy, Gareth Anscombe, Jonathan Davies.

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