Maro Itoje makes three for England and St George’s
PUBLISHED: 12:17 25 February 2016 | UPDATED: 12:17 25 February 2016
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St George’s School in Harpenden will have three of its former pupils start for England against Ireland at Twickenham in the RBS Six Nations on Saturday – after head coach Eddie Jones revealed his selection.
George Ford and Owen Farrell retain their positions at 10 and 12 respectively but there is a first start for Maro Itoje, who didn’t take up the sport until he joined the school 10 years ago.
Itoje lines up in the second row alongside Saracens teammate George Kruis after replacing Joe Launchbury, who has returned to home club Wasps for treatment on a hamstring injury.
Joe Marler comes into the side that started in the win against Italy last time out, replacing Mako Vunipola who drops to the bench.
And there is also a place among the substitutes for the uncapped Wasps centre Elliot Daly.
Jones said: “I have been pleased with the attitude the squad have shown during a comprehensive two weeks of training.
“Everyone is pushing hard to be in contention so there were some tight calls on selection.
“Joe Marler made a big impact off the bench in Rome and will start at loose-head with Mako Vunipola finishing the game. Joe “Launchbury is unlucky to miss out through injury; Maro Itoje is selected as a result and we’re pleased for him.
“Elliot Daly has worked hard this week and is now ready for a place in the 23.
“He can provide cover in several positions in the back line.
“Playing our first game at Twickenham after two away fixtures will be huge for us.
“We’re determined to put in a strong performance against a clever Irish side who are the benchmark of European rugby.”
England team to face Ireland:
15. Mike Brown (vice captain, Harlequins, 45 caps)
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 17 caps)
13. Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 18 caps)
12. Owen Farrell (vice captain, Saracens, 37 caps)
11. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 12 caps)
10. George Ford (Bath Rugby, 19 caps)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 54 caps)
1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 39 caps)
2. Dylan Hartley (captain, Northampton Saints, 68 caps)
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 58 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 1 cap)
5. George Kruis (Saracens, 12 caps)
6. Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 45 caps)
7. James Haskell (Wasps, 64 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (vice captain, Saracens, 23 caps)
16. Jamie George (Saracens, 5 caps)
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 29 caps)
18. Paul Hill (Northampton Saints, 1 cap)
19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 44 caps)
20. Jack Clifford (Harlequins, 2 caps)
21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 55 caps)
22. Elliot Daly (Wasps, uncapped)
23. Alex Goode (Saracens, 20 caps)