Guinness Six Nations sides renew rivalries in Autumn Nations Cup

Elliot Daly celebrates scoring a try with teammates 23/2/2020
After an enthralling opening round of Autumn Nations Cup action, the inaugural tournament heats up this weekend with three crucial clashes across Saturday and Sunday.

After an enthralling opening round of Autumn Nations Cup action, the inaugural tournament heats up this weekend with three crucial clashes across Saturday and Sunday.

The Farrells will do battle at Twickenham once again as Owen Farrell looks to lead England to a second win of the year against his father, and Ireland head coach, Andy Farrell.

Later on Saturday, Wales welcome Georgia to Cardiff as they seek an improvement from last weekend’s loss to Ireland, as well as avoiding a seventh defeat on the bounce.

The weekend wraps up in Scotland as Gregor Townsend’s men host France, who get their Autumn Nations Cup campaign under way at BT Murrayfield on Sunday.


England v Ireland – 15:00 (GMT)

Eddie Jones is searching for a fourth-straight victory over Ireland as reigning Guinness Six Nations champions England look to take control of Group A in the Autumn Nations Cup.

The successful World Cup back-row trio of Tom Curry, Sam Underhill and Billy Vunipola return, with the flankers replacing Jack Willis and Maro Itoje as the latter moves into the second row.

Kyle Sinckler and Mako Vunipola return to the front of the pack in place of Ellis Genge and Will Stuart, who both drop to the bench after starting against Georgia.

Jones has opted to name an unchanged back line, but has added fly-half George Ford to the matchday squad with the Leicester Tigers fly-half declared fit.

Andy Farrell has made a few enforced changes to his side, with injured captain Johnny Sexton being replaced by Leinster teammate Ross Byrne at fly-half.

CJ Stander returns to the fold, partnering Peter O’Mahony and Caelan Doris in the back row, while Keith Earls has been recalled to the wing.

Jamison Gibson-Park keeps hold of the No.9 jersey ahead of Conor Murray, as Jacob Stockdale returns to the matchday squad after

England: Elliot Daly; Jonathan Joseph, Ollie Lawrence, Henry Slade, Jonny May; Owen Farrell (c), Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Joe Launchbury, Ben Curry, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola

Replacements: Tom Dunn, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Jonny Hill, Ben Earl, Dan Robson, George Ford, Max Marlins

Ireland: Hugo Keenan; Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Bundee Aki, James Lowe; Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Cian Healy, Ronan Kelleher, Andrew Porter, Quinn Roux, James Ryan (c), CJ Stander, Peter O’Mahony, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: Rob Herring, Ed Byrne, Finlay Bealham, Iain Henderson, Will Connors, Conor Murray, Billy Burns, JacobStockdale

Wales v Georgia – 17:15 (GMT)

Wales have come up against Georgia on two previous occasions, winning both encounters, and Wayne Pivac will be hoping for a similar result when they meet again in Llanelli.

While the Welsh were convincing winners in last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, Georgia pushed them close when they clashed in 2017 when Wales triumphed 13-6 in Cardiff.

Justin Tipuric will lead the side out on Saturday and will be joined at the back of the pack by debutant James Botham – grandson of England cricket legend, Lord Ian.

Johnny Williams and Kieran Hardy will also make their debuts at the Parc y Scarlets, as might Bristol Bears back Ioan Lloyd, who is named as a replacement.

Georgia have made five changes to the side that lost 40-0 at Twickenham last weekend, with backs Vasil Lobzhanidze and Sandro Todua returning to the back line.

Hooker Jaba Bregvadze has also been recalled, while Kote Mikautadze and Grigol Kerdikoshvili will partner one another in the second row.

Wales: Liam Williams; Johnny McNicholl, Nick Tompkins, Johnny Williams, Louis Rees-Zammit; Callum Sheedy, Kieran Hardy; Wyn Jones, Elliot Dee, Samson Lee, Jake Ball, Seb Davies, James Botham, Justin Tipuric (c), Aaron Wainwright

Replacements: Sam Parry, Nicky Smith, Leon Brown, Cory Hill, James Davies, Rhys Webb, Ioan Lloyd, Jonah Holmes

Georgia: Lasha Khmaladze, Akaki Tabutsadze, Giorgi Kveseladze, Merab Sharikadze, Sandro Todua, Tedo Abzhandadze, Vasil Lobzhanidze; Mikheil Nariashvili, Jaba Bregvadze, Beka Gigashvili, Grigor Kerdikoshvili, Kote Mikautadze, Otar Giorgadze, Beka Saginadz, Beka Gorgadze

Replacements: Giorgi Chkoidze, Guram Gogichashvili, Lexo Kaulashvili, Lasha Jaiani, Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, Gela Aprasidze, Demur Tapladze, Tamaz Mchedlidze


Scotland v France – 15:15 (GMT)

Scotland pulled the rug on France’s Grand Slam bid earlier this year in the Guinness Six Nations, with Gregor Townsend’s men emerging with a 28-17 victory at BT Murrayfield.

Les Bleus ultimately finished second behind England in the Championship standings and they will be out for revenge when they return to Edinburgh for their first Autumn Nations Cup match.

The hosts have already begun their campaign after getting the better fo Italy last weekend and Townsend has made five changes to the team that started the victory in Florence.

Blair Kinghorn comes into the back line in place of Darcy Graham while Matt Fagerson starts in the backrow along with Jamie Ritchie, who has passed the return-to-play protocols.

Fraser Brown replaces Stuart McInally at hooker and forms a new front row along with Oli Kebble and Simon Berghan, with prop Jamie Bhatti returning to take a place on the bench.

Meanwhile, France will be without fly-half Romain Ntamack as Fabien Galthie’s men look to hit the ground running after their opening match with Fiji was cancelled.

Matthieu Jalibert starts in one of eight changes made to the side that beat Ireland on Super Saturday, with Thomas Ramos returning at full-back and Gael Fickou moving to centre.

Teddy Thomas will also be back in action on the wing as Les Bleus look to edge closer to securing top spot in Group B, with this fixture likely to decide who finishes at the summit.

Scotland: Stuart Hogg (c), Blair Kinghorn, Chris Harris, Sam Johnson, Duhan van der Merwe, Duncan Weir, Ali Price, Oli Kebble, Fraser Brown, Simon Berghan, Scott Cummings, Jonny Gray, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Matt Fagerson

Replacements: George Turner, Jamie Bhatti, Zander Fagerson, Sam Skinner, Blade Thomson, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Duncan Taylor, Sean Maitland

France: Thomas Ramos, Teddy Thomas, Virimi Vakatawa, Gaël Fickou, Vincent Rattez, Matthieu Jalibert, Antoine Dupont, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Camille Chat, Demba Bamba, Bernard Le Roux, Romain Taofifenua, Dylan Cretin, Charles Ollivon (c), Grégory Alldritt

Replacements: Julien Marchand, Cyril Baille, Mohamed Haouas, Paul Willemse, Cameron Woki, Baptiste Couilloud, Louis Carbonel, Arthur Vincent