Jack Nowell and Ben Moon start for England in Six Nations showdown vs Wales
By Tony Tighe
Last Updated: 21/02/19 2:15pm
Exeter duo Jack Nowell and Ben Moon come into the England starting line-up for Saturday's crucial Six Nations fixture against Wales in Cardiff.
Nowell, who dropped to the bench for the win over France after starting against Ireland, is restored to the right wing in place of the injured Chris Ashton.
Loosehead prop Moon comes in for his first Six Nations start after Mako Vunipola was ruled out for the rest of the tournament with an ankle injury, with Ellis Genge providing impact from the bench.
"Ben Moon will start and Ellis Genge will finish so we will get a great 80 minutes out of those two," said England head coach Eddie Jones.
"It is disappointing to lose a player of the calibre of Mako Vunipola but we have two very good players who will do a great job for us."
The rest of the starting XV is unchanged but there are four alterations on the bench, where Joe Cokanasiga is included after his try-scoring return from injury for Bath last weekend.
Brad Shields is preferred to Wasps team-mate Nathan Hughes as loose forward cover with Harry Williams given the nod ahead of Dan Cole as back-up tighthead.
England have won their last five Six Nations matches against Wales, with Elliot Daly scoring the match-winning try when they last met in Cardiff in 2017.
Both teams are unbeaten in this year's Championship, with England sitting two points clear at the top of the table following bonus-point wins over defending champions Ireland and France.
"As you have read in the media, it's all about Wales, we are playing potentially the greatest team ever," said Jones, referring to Wales' record-equalling 11-game winning streak.
"Their players are full of emotion and it's the biggest game they are going to play in their lives.
"We have had a good week just focusing on ourselves and focusing on getting our preparation right."
England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Ben Moon, 2 Jamie George, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Courtney Lawes, 5 George Kruis, 6 Mark Wilson, 7 Tom Curry, 8 Billy Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Brad Shields, 21 Dan Robson, 22 George Ford, 23 Joe Cokanasiga.