Manu Tuilagi and captain Courtney Lawes will make their returns from injury in England's Six Nations showdown with Wales at Twickenham, while forward Taulupe Faletau will make his first appearance since last year's competition for the visitors on Saturday.

Both sides have posted a win and a loss in their two games so far to trail early leaders France in the table.

England bounced back from a 20-17 loss to Scotland by thrashing Italy 33-0 last time out, while Wales beat Scotland 20-17 after opening their title defence with a 29-7 defeat in Ireland.

Lawes returns from a concussion-enforced layoff which has kept him out of action since January, and regains the captaincy he held against South Africa last Autumn, replacing stand-in Tom Curry in the role.

Tuilagi also makes a welcome return from injury, but Ben Youngs will have to wait to win a record 115th cap after being named on the bench, as Eddie Jones makes four changes to the team which impressed in Rome, with Luke Cowan-Dickie and Kyle Sinckler also coming in.

Looking ahead to the match, Jones told England Rugby that he was content with his side's preparation, and was excited ahead of the showdown.

"We've prepared very well for this game, the squad have really come together on and off the pitch," said Jones. 

"Wales are a good, tough side and Six Nations champions, and it will make for an exciting Test match in front of a full Twickenham crowd.

"We've got a talented, young, hungry squad who have trained with real intensity this week. We're ready to go at them and can't wait to play in front of our supporters again."

 

 

Wales have handed a start to Faletau upon his return from injury, replacing Jack Morgan, while Josh Adams comes in on the wing, and head coach Wayne Pivac is delighted to see Faletau back.

"We're very pleased to have the experienced Toby Faletau back. He's trained well during the week and got 80 minutes under his belt last week," he said.

"From our point of view he brings a lot of experience, so we're very excited to have Toby back."

Since his Six Nations debut in 2012, Faletau has made the most carries of any Wales player in the Championship (396), also ranking second for defenders beaten (55) and tackles made (455).

Meanwhile, Alex Cuthbert will win his 50th cap for the visitors, while Leon Brown could make his first appearance since last July from the bench.

With Northampton's Dan Biggar leading Wales and Lawes regaining the England armband, the contest marks the first time in history that both captains in a clash between England and Wales have come from the same club.

 

England team: Freddie Steward, Max Malins, Henry Slade, Manu Tuilagi, Jack Nowell, Marcus Smith, Harry Randall; Elis 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 Youngs, George Ford, Elliot Daly.

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

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