The Six Nations Round 1 starts this weekend and here is all the teams for the first round of matches….
Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has made three changes to his starting XV for Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Ireland at Murrayfield.
Stormers centre Huw Jones is back in the starting line-up in place of Mark Bennett, having recovered from the foot injury that ruled him out of the team’s third and final autumn test match against Georgia in November.
Jones hit the headlines when he became the first Scot to score a brace against Australia in his first start before being injured in the act of creating a try for Sean Maitland against Argentina a week later.
Jones will reform the midfield partnership he forged in those two tests with Alex Dunbar in between returning half backs Greig Laidlaw and Finn Russell, and the back-three trio of Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland and Tommy Seymour, who contributed half of Scotland’s 10-try tally in the autumn.
The remaining changes are in the pack which sees Glasgow Warriors hooker Fraser Brown promoted from the bench in place of cap centurion Ross Ford and Josh Strauss (back-row) replaces club-mate Rob Harley.
Strauss’ inclusion at number eight sees Ryan Wilson make a positional switch to the blindside of the back-row, with Hamish Watson holding down the openside role he occupied throughout the autumn.
Second-row brothers Jonny and Richie Gray return to the boiler house with young props Allan Dell and Zander Fagerson packing down either side of Brown in the front-row.
There are four further changes to the bench, with Edinburgh tighthead Simon Berghan in line for a test debut if called upon from the replacements.
Elsewhere, Tim Swinson, Duncan Weir and Bennett occupy the remaining back replacement spots in place of Grant Gilchrist and injured Warriors pair Pete Horne and Rory Hughes.
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Allan Dell
Replacements: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 John Barclay, 21 Ali Price, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Mark Bennett
Iain Henderson will start in the second row for Ireland when they take on Scotland at Murrayfield this weekend in the Six Nations.
Rory Best will captain the side on his 101st cap for Ireland and is joined in the front row by Tadhg Furlong and Jack McGrath.
Devin Toner and Henderson form the second row partnership with CJ Stander, Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip named in the back row.
Conor Murray and Paddy Jackson are the half-back combination with Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose partnering in midfield.
Rob Kearney is named at full-back with Simon Zebo and Keith Earls on the wings.
The uncapped Niall Scannell is named on the bench which also includes Cian Healy, John Ryan, Ultan Dillane and Josh Van der Flier as forwards cover.
Kieran Marmion, Ian Keatley and Tommy Bowe are named as the replacement backs.
Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O’Brien, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadgh Furlong, 2 Rory Best (c), 1 Jack McGrath
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Cian Healy, 18 John Ryan, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Josh van der Flier, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Tommy Bowe
England have named their side for their Six Nations opener against France at Twickenham on Saturday, with Elliot Daly starting on the wing.
There are five changes to the starting XV that defeated Australia at the end of last year to complete an unbeaten 2016.
Daly (Wasps) starts on the left wing with Jonny May (Gloucester) installed on the right. In the scrum Joe Marler (Harlequins) packs down at loosehead, Joe Launchbury (Wasps) is named in the second-row and Maro Itoje (Saracens) starts at blindside flanker making up a matchday XV totalling 595 caps.
“We’ve been able to select a very strong and experienced team to play against France and we are excited to get the tournament underway,” said England head coach Eddie Jones.
“There’s a great rivalry between the countries so we’re looking forward to a great occasion playing against one of England’s oldest foes. We are ambitious and want to be the number one team in the world.”
On the bench there are returns for loosehead prop Matt Mullan, flanker James Haskell (both Wasps) and wing Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs).
“In rugby terms you’ve traditionally got two contrasting styles – French flair and England’s dogged conservative approach, but we want to be absolutely daring against the French in this first game and set the standard for the tournament,” added Jones.
“Guy Noves likes a big team. He picks a traditional French forward pack with squat front-rowers who scrummage well, big locks who give a lot of ballast and athletic back-rowers. It’s based on size and crunching that gain line, getting an off-load and then playing with flair. Of course this gives you an opportunity when you’ve got a big forward pack against you and we intend to exploit that.
“We want to get better all of the time, we are ambitious and we want to be the number one team in the world.
“It’s exciting to be back at Twickenham. We’ve got great supporters and we’re looking forward to hearing them turn up the volume on Saturday.”
England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Jonny May, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Maro Itoje, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Teimana Harrison, 20 James Haskell, 21 Danny Care, 22 Ben Te’o, 23 Jack Nowell
France head coach Guy Novès has named his line-up for their Six Nations opener against England at Twickenham on Saturday.
Baptiste Serin has got the nod over Maxime Machenaud at scrum-half and joins Clermont playmaker Camille Lopez in the half-backs.
With Wesley Fofana ruled out due to injury, the midfield for le Crunch will see Rémi Lamerat and Gaël Fickou link up while lethal wings Virimi Vakatawa, Noa Nakaitaci and full-back Scott Spedding complete the backline.
Up front Cyril Baille and Uini Atonio pack down either side of Guilhem Guirado, with Sébastien Vahaamahina and Yoann Maestri at lock.
Damien Chouly and Kévin Gourdon are named as flanks while Northampton Saints number eight Louis Picamoles also starts the fixture.
France: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Noa Nakaitaci, 13 Gaël Fickou, 12 Rémi Lamerat, 11 Virimi Vakatawa, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Kévin Gourdon, 6 Damien Chouly, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Guilhem Guirado (c), 1 Cyril Baille
Replacements: 16 Clément Maynadier, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Arthur Iturria, 20 Loann Goujon, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Yoann Huget, 23 Jean-Marc Doussain
Italy coach Conor O’Shea has named his squad to play Wales in Rome on Sunday.
The side contains a large contingent of players that beat the Springboks during the November series last year.
The front-row sees Andrea Lovotti, Ornel Gega and Lorenzo Cittadini link up and the lock pairing will be made up of Marco Fuser and George Biagi.
Sergio Parisse captains the side once again at number eight with Abraham Steyn donning the six jersey while Maxime Mata Mbanda will play in the fetcher role.
The half-back pairing consists of Edoardo Gori at number nine while Carlo Canna will start at fly-half.
Outside them Luke McLean starts at inside centre and Tommaso Benvenuti will link with from outside centre. In the back three Edoardo Padovani will start at full-back with Giulio Bisegni and Giovanbattista Venditti on the wings.
Italy: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Giulio Bisegni, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Luke McLean, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse(c), 7 Maxime Mata Mbanda, 6 Abraham Steyn, 5 George Biagi, 4 Marco Fuser, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Ornel Gega, 1 Andrea Lovotti
Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Sami Panico, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Joshua Furno, 20 Francesco Minto, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Michele Campagnaro
Wales head coach Rob Howley has recalled Rhys Webb at scrum-half for their Six Nations opener against Italy in Rome on Sunday.
Howley has made five changes to the side that beat South Africa last November as Webb, Nicky Smith, Samson Lee, Jake Ball and Sam Warburton all come into the starting XV.
Captain Alun Wyn Jones leads the team in Rome, the city where he first wore the captain’s armband for his country back in 2009.
There is just one change in the backline from the side that beat the Springboks, with Webb returning from injury to start at scrum-half, partnering Dan Biggar at half-back. Scarlets duo Scott Williams and Jonathan Davies make up the midfield with George North, who scored a hat-trick for Wales on his last outing in Rome, and Liam Williams occupy the wing positions, with Leigh Halfpenny at full-back.
Wales’ matchday squad features four players seeking their first taste of Six Nations action – prop Nicky Smith who starts at loosehead along with replacements Cory Hill, James King and Sam Davies.
Smith is joined in the front-row by Scarlets pair Lee and Ken Owens, with their regional team-mate Ball packing down alongside captain Jones in second-row.
The back-row sees Ross Moriarty at number eight with Justin Tipuric and Warburton at openside and blindside flanker respectively.
“I’m delighted to name an experienced team for the game against Italy and to welcome back five players who missed out on the opportunity against South Africa in the autumn,” said Wales head coach Howley.
“The Six Nations is a special tournament and we are looking forward to being highly competitive. We feel this is the best side selected to start the campaign, we want to get off to a good start and we feel experience will be vital in that.
“There has been a lot of energy and enthusiasm over the past two weeks and we are excited going into Sunday.
“We know we are going to Rome to face a hugely motivated and very competitive Italian side.”
On the bench Rob Evans, who missed the autumn series through injury, is included alongside fellow front row replacements, Scott Baldwin and Tomas Francis. Hill and King complete the forward contingent with Gareth Davies, Sam Davies and Jamie Roberts the back-line cover.
Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sam Warburton, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Nicky Smith
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Cory Hill, 20 James King, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Jamie Roberts
Thanks to Planet Rugby