Cyprus Mail

Hartley back, Ford and Care dropped for new-look England

Dylan Hartley is back to lead England in their final Six Nations game against Ireland on Saturday

Dylan Hartley is back to lead England in their final Six Nations game against Ireland on Saturday but halfbacks George Ford and Danny Care and prop Dan Cole are dropped as coach Eddie Jones has taken radical action following two successive defeats.

Hartley missed last week’s defeat by France but has recovered from a calf strain.

Jones has brought in Richard Wigglesworth at scrumhalf and moved Owen Farrell to flyhalf, with Ben Te’o and Jonathan Joseph in the centres.

There is also a new-look back row with James Haskell starting at openside flanker, Sam Simmonds at number eight and Chris Robshaw moved back to blindside.

Anthony Watson retains the fullback shirt, with Mike Brown again on the bench.

Prop Kyle Sinckler is rewarded for his impressive cameo with a starting berth, with Cole dropped to the bench while George Kruis starts in the second row ahead of Joe Launchbury.

Exeter’s Dom Armand, the stand-out back rower in the Premiership this season but ignored by Jones since his sole international appearance off the bench in Argentina last year, is named among the replacements.

Following losses in Scotland and France, the defending champions are trying to avoid three successive Six Nations defeats for the first time since 2006.

If they do lose on Saturday – handing Ireland their third grand slam in the process – they could finish outright fifth in the standings, their worst performance for 35 years.

England team to play Ireland:
15 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby 32 caps) 14 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers 33 caps) 13 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby 39 caps) 12 Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors 12 caps) 11 Elliot Daly (Wasps 17 caps) 10 Owen Farrell (Saracens 57 caps) 9 Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens 30 caps) 1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens 48 caps) 2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints 92 caps) 3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins 9 caps) 4 Maro Itoje (Saracens 18 caps) 5 George Kruis (Saracens 24 caps) 6 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins 63 caps) 7 James Haskell (Wasps 76 caps) 8 Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs 6 caps)

16 Jamie George (Saracens 24 caps) 17 Joe Marler (Harlequins 55 caps) 18 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers 81 caps) 19 Joe Launchbury (Wasps 51 caps) 20 Don Armand (Exeter Chiefs 1 cap) 21 Danny Care (Harlequins 80 caps) 22 George Ford (Leicester Tigers 44 caps) 23 Mike Brown (Harlequins 68 caps)

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