Jack Clifford and Jack Nowell start for England against Wales
By Paul Vinnell
Last Updated: 09/02/17 2:25pm
Jack Clifford and Jack Nowell have been called into the England starting XV for Saturday's Six Nations showdown with Wales.
Harlequins openside flanker Clifford and Exeter wing Nowell replace Tom Wood and Jonny May - who both start on the bench - respectively.
The rest of the England team is unchanged following last week's 19-16 victory over France at Twickenham.
England's back-row of Clifford, blindside Maro Itoje and No 8 Nathan Hughes have a total of just 20 caps between them. They will be up against the vastly experienced Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric, and also Taulupe Faletau when he comes off the bench.
"It's been a great week of focused preparation and we can't wait to play Wales," said England head coach Eddie Jones.
"Playing Wales in Cardiff is one of the biggest games in world rugby and we're excited. These are the games you want to be part of as a player and a coach.
"It's a game that is going to be decided on the basics of the game. You do the fundamentals of the game well and you win the game of rugby. We have a young team eager to play well at the great Principality Stadium.
"Jack Nowell starts this week with Jonny May changing to a finisher. Jack has an excellent work-rate and he's a guy that carries through the line which will be important for us."
The inclusion of Clifford ahead of the vastly experienced Wood - who has 46 caps - represents something of a gamble for Jones, but he is confident the Harlequins star will shine in Cardiff.
"Jack Clifford also deserves his starting role - he is a hard-working, young player," Jones added. "He has got a good record against Wales, he had a superb game against them in May.
"He knows what he is going to expect from Wales and we're looking forward to him making an impact to our back-row play. Tom Wood will also play his part later in the game off the bench as a finisher."
England are looking to win their sixteenth straight match in Cardiff, as they close on New Zealand's record of 18, but Jones says that is not on their minds.
"We don't need extra motivation this week," he said. "We play Test rugby because we want to be the best for England. Every game for us is important and our supporters, and Wales is our next game so it's the most important."
England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Joe Marler, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 3 Dan Cole, 4 Joe Launchbury, 5 Courtney Lawes, 6 Maro Itoje, 7 Jack Clifford 8 Nathan Hughes
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Tom Wood, 20 James Haskell, 21 Danny Care, 22 Ben Te'o, 23 Jonny May