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When are the Guinness Six Nations team announcements for Round Five?

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When are the Guinness Six Nations team announcements for Round Five?

When are the Guinness Six Nations team announcements for Round Five?

Round Five sees Italy host France, Wales go for the Grand Slam at home to Ireland and then England welcome Scotland to Twickenham (Inpho)

Super Saturday is fast approaching with three tantalising fixtures in store in Round Five of the Guinness Six Nations.

Wales, England and Ireland are all still in the hunt for the title on a final day with plenty of permutations.

The excitement is already building and on Thursday all six teams will announce their sides.

THURSDAY

France

France get the ball rolling on Thursday morning at 8am, a slightly later announcement than for the last two rounds. That may be in part due to a shorter turnaround between matches, but Jacques Brunel has some interesting choices to make.

With Jefferson Poirot and Wenceslas Lauret out, he has two holes to fill. Dany Priso and Etienne Falgoux will be battling for the starting loosehead spot, while three players are vying for a place in the back row. They are Grégory Alldritt, who has come off the bench in every game so far, Yacouba Camara, who played against England, or Kélian Galletier, who was called up on Monday.

Elsewhere, Brunel must decide whether to stick with the side that struggled in the first half against Ireland, or whether he brings in any of the replacements who helped sparked a late recovery in the 26-14 loss.

England

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Next up are England, with Eddie Jones set to name his side for the Calcutta Cup clash with Scotland at 10.30am.

Jones named a 31-man squad to prepare for the game at Twickenham, with the 23 who beat Italy all included.

Maro Itoje will not be back, having returned to club side Saracens for injury rehab. There are still some intriguing decisions to be made. Ellis Genge, Brad Shields and Joe Cokanasiga all impressed when given an opportunity.

Will Jones go back to the starters who faced Wales or will he stick with the same starting XV?

Wales

In theory Wales will be next to name their team at midday, although Warren Gatland has been known to pull a fast one in the past, including last week.

There were concerns over the fitness of Liam Williams, who went off holding his shoulder in the win over Scotland.

However the early signs were positive for the full-back and in general Wales seemed to come through unscathed ahead of their clash with Ireland in Cardiff where they will go for the Grand Slam.

Italy

At 1pm it will be Conor O’Shea’s turn to name his Azzurri side for their clash with France in Rome.

O’Shea has named a 32-man squad with three uncapped players, prop Marco Riccioni and centre Marco Zanon of Benetton and Gloucester scrum-half Callum Braley.

Zanon is certainly worth keeping an eye on, with both Michele Campagnaro and Tommaso Castello ruled out in the centre.

Meanwhile Maxime Mbandà, who missed out through injury against England, is back in contention and could come back into the mix.

Scotland

Gregor Townsend had to cope with a host of early injuries against Wales, and has made some call-ups as a result for the trip to England, with the team to be announced at 1.45pm.

Blair Kinghorn is out, while Stuart Hogg has not recovered in time, so there will be a new face at full-back. Byron McGuigan, Adam Hastings and Ruaridh Jackson would appear to be the most likely contenders for the No.15 jersey.

Elsewhere, Sevens star Kyle Steyn was also brought in as a back-three option and will be hoping to make his Test debut.

 

Townsend also has an interesting decision to make with Hamish Watson, so impressive off the bench against Wales and now with another week of match fitness under his belt.

Ireland

Finally at 2pm, Joe Schmidt will name a team in the Guinness Six Nations for the very last time. Ireland travel to Cardiff to take on Wales, with Schmidt confident he will have Rob Kearney back fit.

The full-back was a late withdrawal from the win over France but, if fit, he will challenge Jordan Larmour for a starting role.

Schmidt will also have a decision to make in the back row where Josh van der Flier came off early against Les Bleus, with Jack Conan and Sean O’Brien both contenders to start.