Six Nations 2021: Ireland v England – Elliot Daly will replace injured Henry Slade at outside centre

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England’s Elliot Daly will replace the injured Henry Slade against Ireland in Saturday’s Six Nations match, making his first international start at outside centre since 2016.

Slade suffered a calf injury in training on Monday, making way for Daly – a replacement full-back in last weekend’s victory against France – to return to the starting XV.

Harlequins back Joe Marchant is among the replacements.

England’s forward pack is unchanged.

Before last weekend, Daly had been head coach Eddie Jones’ starting full-back since 2018 and prior to that the 28-year-old played on the wing. The match in Dublin will be his fifth England appearance at centre.

Jones has had uncapped Wasps centre Paolo Odogwu in his training squad throughout the tournament but instead opted to name Marchant on the bench after calling up the Quins back earlier in the week as cover for Slade.

England won the Six Nations title in 2020 but the best they can hope for this year is a second-place finish after losses to Wales and Scotland.

Slade had been instrumental to the improved England attack which helped them to a 23-20 win against previous tournament favourites France.

Daly will partner captain Owen Farrell in the centre, while Max Malins will get his second start at full-back.

Jones said: “This is our most important game of the tournament and we want to finish well.

“We’re anticipating a hard, tough game against Ireland and we’ve picked this team to cope with that.

“We want to take it to Ireland physically and play the rugby we want to play.”

England team to face Ireland
England: Malins; Watson, Daly, Farrell (capt), May; Ford, Youngs; M Vunipola, Cowan-Dickie, Sinckler, Itoje, Ewels, Wilson, Curry, B Vunipola.

Replacements: George, Genge, Stuart, Hill, Earl, Robson, Lawrence, Marchant.

Agencies

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