Lewis Moody wants England head coach Eddie Jones to unleash the "fire" of Ellis Genge on Ireland in a blockbuster Six Nations battle on Sunday.

Genge came off the bench to score a late try that ensured England regained the Calcutta Cup with a 13-6 victory over fierce rivals Scotland at Storm Ciara-battered Murrayfield last time out.

Powerhouse prop Mako Vunipola is unavailable for family reasons for a pivotal round-three showdown at Twickenham this weekend, so either Genge or Joe Marler are set to come into the starting line-up.

Former England flanker Moody wants to see Genge, who described critics of the Rugby World Cup runners-up as "sausages" after the win over Scotland, in the front row from the start.

Speaking to Omnisport ahead of the England v Ireland Rugby Legends Charity Match at Twickenham Stoop, Moody said: "I love Genge, I just think he's something different, as is Marler.

"From a character point of view they are both very authentic, unique individuals. From a playing point of view Ellis just brings some proper fire, he's got that fire in his belly.

"You can see how hungry he is, how passionate he is for his team to do well. He's totally bought into that, you can see that with the post-match chat after the Scotland game, where he was clearly upset people were attacking his coach and his team.

"I like that sort of spirit in a player. Whether he's technically the best scrummager, I'm probably not a good enough artiste of the front row to be able to give enough information on that, but in terms of an individual I'd want him in my team, he'd be on the starting sheet."

Moody says the return to fitness of centre Manu Tuilagi is a major boost for England, particularly with Billy Vunipola unable to play any part in the tournament due to a broken arm.

The World Cup winner added: "For England, it will be enormous. Without Billy Vunipola and Manu it's a different proposition without that ball carrying. They get those extra yards every time and that ability to offload.

"Manu coming in would go some way to reinstilling that momentum in the England attack, it feels like it's been missing for the last two games - obviously you have to take into account the conditions against Scotland."

 

- The England v Ireland Rugby Legends Charity Match will take place at Twickenham Stoop on February 22, kick-off 17.30 and will be raising money for Restart Rugby, RFU Injured Players Fund and the Tom Smith Testimonial Committee. Visit http://tickets.quins.co.uk for tickets and more information.

Alessandro Zanni will start for Italy in Saturday's Six Nations showdown with Scotland in Rome.

The veteran lock was injured in the warm-up prior to the 35-22 defeat to France in Paris on February 9.

Zanni returns in place of Dean Budd for what will be his 119th cap, with Italy otherwise unchanged from the loss to Les Bleus.

"We showed some improvements against France," said head coach Franco Smith. "We want to produce a big performance in front of our fans at the Stadio Olimpico showing everyone our game and our true potential."

Tommaso Allan, who managed three successful kicks against France, will start at fly-half on Saturday.

Italy are seeking their first points of the 2020 tournament, having suffered a chastening 42-0 defeat to Wales in round one.

The Azzurri are, along with Scotland, the only team yet to record a win this year.

Italy: Jayden Hayward, Mattia Bellini, Luca Morisi, Carlo Canna, Matteo Minozzi, Tommaso Allan, Callum Braley; Andrea Lovotti, Luca Bigi (captain), Giosue Zilocchi, Alessandro Zanni, Niccolo Cannone, Jake Polledri, Sebastian Negri, Abraham Steyn.

Replacements: Federico Zani, Danilo Fischetti, Marco Riccioni, Marco Lazzaroni, Dean Budd, Giovanni Licata, Guglielmo Palazzani, Giulio Bisegni.

Gael Fickou moves to the wing and the fit-again Virimi Vakatawa is back in France's starting line-up for the Six Nations battle with Wales on Saturday.

Vakatawa was ruled out of the victory over Italy with a triceps injury but will make a centre pairing with Arthur Vincent at the Principality Stadium.

Fickou shifts out wide from midfield with Vincent Rattez (broken fibula) and Damian Penaud (calf) on the sidelines.

They are the only changes made to the starting line-up by Fabien Galthie as Les Bleus attempt to make it three wins out of three in Cardiff.

Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack have shaken off niggles to start for a France side that are joint-top with Ireland.

Prop Jean-Baptiste Gros and flanker Dylan Cretin are set to make their debuts off the bench against the defending champions, with Jefferson Poirot and Cameron Woki overlooked.

 

France: Anthony Bouthier, Teddy Thomas, Virimi Vakatawa, Arthur Vincent, Gael Fickou, Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont; Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand, Mohamed Haouas, Bernard Le Roux, Paul Willemse, Francois Cros, Charles Ollivon (captain) Gregory Alldritt.

Replacements: Camille Chat, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Demba Bamba, Romain Taofifenua, Dylan Cretin, Baptiste Serin, Matthieu Jalibert, Thomas Ramos.

 

Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade are on course to be fit for England's crunch Six Nations showdown with Ireland at Twickenham on Sunday.

Tuilagi suffered a groin injury early in England's defeat to France on the opening weekend of the tournament, while Slade has been out since sustaining an ankle injury in December.

The centres trained with the Rugby World Cup runners-up on Wednesday and could face joint-leaders Ireland this weekend.

England head coach Eddie Jones said: "Manu trained fully so should be in contention for selection. It's good to have a quality player back.

"Slade also trained so we have just got to monitor his progress. He has a positive chance. He's a quality player. This gives us more options."

One player who will play no part is prop Mako Vunipola, who flew to Tonga and is not available for "family reasons".

Jones says England are well stocked to cover for the absence of the British and Irish Lion, with Joe Marler and Ellis Genge vying for a start.

The Australian said: "Mako's a quality player but we are lucky we are blessed with two outstanding loosehead props in Joe and Ellis, so we can recover the loss of Mako.

"But it's disappointing to lose him."

Genge scored the winning try in a battling 13-6 defeat of Scotland before the rest weekend. 

Andy Farrell has named an unchanged side for Ireland's mouthwatering Six Nations clash with England at Twickenham on Sunday.

Fit-again back-row Caelan Doris replaces Max Deegan on the bench in the only alteration to the 23 following the victory over Wales.

Robbie Henshaw was withdrawn just five minutes into the second half of the 24-14 win over the defending champions last time out, but the centre has been passed fit to start alongside Bundee Aki.

CJ Stander remains at number eight after another man-of-the-match display against the holders, with blindside flanker Peter O'Mahony retaining his starting berth and Doris - who suffered a head injury on his debut versus Scotland - among the replacements.

Ireland are joint-top of the table with France after winning their first two games and will be out for revenge after losing to Eddie Jones' side twice last year.

 

Ireland: Jordan Larmour, Andrew Conway, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Johnny Sexton (captain), Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rob Herring, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, James Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Andrew Porter, Devin Toner, Caelan Doris, John Cooney, Ross Byrne, Keith Earls.

 

 

Gregor Townsend has brought in centre Chris Harris in place of Huw Jones as one of three changes to his team for Scotland's Six Nations match in Italy.

Scotland travel to Rome on Saturday with both teams looking for their first win of this year's competition.

Gloucester's Harris partners Sam Johnson at centre for his first start of the campaign, with Jones dropping out of the matchday 23.

In Scotland's other alterations, Edinburgh forwards Stuart McInally and Ben Toolis come into the team in place of Fraser Brown, who drops to the bench, and the injured Jonny Gray. 

"We believe Chris and Stuart deserve this opportunity," said Townsend. 

"They were very close to the starting XV when we entered this campaign. We think this is the right time for them to come in.

"Chris has been excellent for Gloucester this season and has continued to make improvements since the summer. He works very hard on both sides of the ball, which will be important this week.

"Stuart has shown over the past few weeks he's back to full fitness and is raring to go, and Ben gets an opportunity to start following Jonny's injury against England.

"Second-row is a position we have a lot of competition [in], with a number of very good players available for selection. 

"We are looking forward to seeing how he combines again with Scott [Cummings] after a successful outing together against Russia in the World Cup."

Flanker Matt Fagerson, who was added to the Scotland squad earlier this week, is a new name among the replacements, as are WP Nel, Grant Gilchrist and Byron McGuigan.

There is still no place for fly-half Finn Russell, due to his dispute with Scotland's management in the wake of a breach of team protocol ahead of the tournament.


Scotland: Stuart Hogg (captain), Sean Maitland, Chris Harris, Sam Johnson, Blair Kinghorn, Adam Hastings, Ali Price; Rory Sutherland, Stuart McInally, Zander Fagerson, Ben Toolis, Scott Cummings, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Magnus Bradbury.

Replacements: Fraser Brown, Allan Dell, WP Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Matt Fagerson, George Horne, Rory Hutchinson, Byron McGuigan.    

Wales boss Wayne Pivac has summoned Hallam Amos into his squad ahead of Saturday's Six Nations showdown with France.

The full-back, who also has experience of playing on the wing, comes in after recovering from an ankle injury.

That setback had kept Amos out of Pivac's initial plans, but he could now step up to play an important role over the remaining three matches.

The 25-year-old former Dragons star is looking to add to his 22 caps for Wales and takes the place of Cardiff Blues team-mate Owen Lane, who dropped out after suffering a hamstring blow.

Amos proved his fitness in Cardiff's Pro14 match against Connacht on Saturday, playing on the left wing in the Blues' 29-0 defeat.

Wales will look to return to winning ways after their 24-14 defeat to Ireland last time out, but in France they face a side who have started their campaign with purpose.

Les Bleus will be chasing a third successive victory, having already overcome England and Italy at the Stade de France.

A first away match for France promises to be their biggest test yet, with Wales having won their last three encounters, including a 20-19 success in their World Cup quarter-final in October.

England prop Mako Vunipola will miss the crunch Six Nations clash with Ireland at Twickenham on Sunday for family reasons.

Vunipola made his first appearance of the tournament in the victory over Scotland but will not face Ireland after travelling to Tonga.

Ellis Genge could be handed a start after scoring the winning try in the Calcutta Cup clash at Murrayfield. Alternatively, Joe Marler could come back into the side, with the uncapped Beno Obano offering another option.

Fit-again centres Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade were among the 33 names included by Eddie Jones for England's first home match of the tournament.

The Rugby World Cup runners-up were beaten by France in their opening match before edging out Scotland in brutal conditions in Edinburgh, while Ireland have won two out of two.

 

England squad:

Forwards: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Tom Dunn, Ben Earl, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Joe Marler, Beno Obano, Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Harry Williams.
    
Backs: Elliot Daly, Ollie Devoto, Fraser Dingwall, Owen Farrell, George Ford, George Furbank, Willi Heinz, Jonathan Joseph, Jonny May, Henry Slade, Ollie Thorley, Manu Tuilagi, Jacob Umaga, Ben Youngs.

Sam Skinner and Matt Fagerson have been added to Scotland's Six Nations squad for the rest of the tournament.

Exeter Chiefs second row Skinner and Glasgow Warriors back row Fagerson were not included in Gregor Townsend's initial squad due to hamstring and rib injuries respectively.

The duo have proved their fitness in impressing showings for their clubs and are in contention to face Italy at the Stadio Olimpico next Saturday.

Skinner missed the Rugby World Cup due to his injury setback, having last featured for his country in a victory over France last August, while 21-year-old Fagerson has not played for Scotland since a hammering of Georgia almost six months ago.

Gloucester second-rower Alex Craig has been released from the squad.

Scotland will be expected to claim a first victory of the tournament in Rome following defeats to Ireland and England. 

Mushfiqur Rahim is back in the Bangladesh squad for the one-off Test against Zimbabwe – but there is no place for Mahmudullah.

Having opted out of the Test match in Pakistan earlier in February due to security concerns, wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur returns for the game in Dhaka.

Uncapped duo Yasir Ali and Hasan Mahmud are also included in a 16-man party.

However, batsman Mahmudullah misses out after only posting one half-century in his last 10 Test innings. Fellow batsman Soumya Sarkar and pace-bowling duo Rubel Hossain and Al-Amin Hossain are also omitted.

Spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz is fit again and there are recalls for left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman and paceman Taskin Ahmed.

"I believe we have selected the best possible Test squad under present circumstances. There is a very nice blend of experience and potential," said Panel Minhajul Abedin, Bangladesh's chairman of selectors.

The solitary Test against Zimbabwe begins at the Shere Bangla National Stadium on February 22.

 

Bangladesh Test squad: Mominul Haque (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Saif Hassan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Liton Das, Taijul Islam, Abu Jayed Chowdhury, Nayeem Hasan, Ebadot Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, Yasir Ali.

England are likely to welcome back Manu Tuilagi for the crunch Six Nations clash with Ireland next week, but Anthony Watson remains out of action.

Centre Tuilagi remained with the England squad after suffering a groin injury in the opening defeat in France, although he did not feature as the Rugby World Cup finalists bounced back against Scotland.

The Leicester Tigers star should be able to feature at Twickenham a week on Sunday, though, head coach Eddie Jones revealed.

England face Ireland, who have won two matches from two so far - beating defending Grand Slam champions Wales last week - to join France at the top of the Six Nations table.

Alongside Tuilagi, England could be boosted by a return for Henry Slade, the 26-year-old having been out with an ankle injury since December.

"Manu is looking very good," Jones told Sky Sports News. "Very promising. He should be in full training by the start of next week.

"Henry Slade ran today and we've yet to get a medical report. It's definitely promising but too early to say whether he will be alright for Ireland or not."

However, Watson - another man, like Slade, yet to feature in the campaign - is still struggling with a calf injury picked up on the eve of the competition.

"Anthony Watson is still a couple of weeks away," Jones said.

Wales will have to do without Owen Williams for the remainder of their Six Nations campaign due to a hamstring injury.

Initially selected on the bench for Saturday's clash with Ireland, the Gloucester back suffered the injury while warming up ahead of kick-off at the Aviva Stadium.

The 27-year-old - who can play at fly-half or inside centre - had to withdraw from the matchday squad in Dublin, Jarrod Evans taking his place among the replacements.

Wales confirmed on Tuesday that Williams will miss the rest of the tournament following further assessment, though they are yet to name a replacement.

The reigning Six Nations champions are already without fly-halves Gareth Anscombe and Rhys Patchell, while Dan Biggar was forced off during the first half of the 24-14 defeat at the weekend after failing a head injury assessment.

Wayne Pivac's side are next in action on February 22, hosting unbeaten France in Cardiff.

Six Nations leaders France will be without wing Vincent Rattez for the remainder of the tournament after it was confirmed he had suffered a broken leg.

The 27-year-old sustained the injury during the closing stages of Sunday's 35-22 home win over Italy.

In the absence of Damian Penaud, La Rochelle star Rattez was a starter for Les Bleus in that match as well as their opening win over England, in which he scored a try.

Rattez confirmed on social media he had suffered a broken leg against Italy, a major blow for France after head coach Fabien Galthie initially hoped it would only be a sprained ankle.

After two home wins, France are away to Wales on February 22.

Gregor Townsend has questioned Finn Russell's commitment to playing for his country after the outcast fly-half stated he has no relationship with the Scotland head coach.

Russell did not feature in the Six Nations defeats to Ireland and England after being disciplined for a "breach of team protocol" in camp before the loss in Dublin on the opening weekend.

The Racing 92 playmaker was reportedly involved in a dispute with team-mates over the amount of alcohol he had drunk in the team hotel.

Russell broke his silence in an interview with the Sunday Times, suggesting there would need to be "big changes" for him to resume his Scotland career as he took a swipe at Townsend's style and man-management. 

Townsend responded on Monday by saying Russell will have to be fully on board with standards that are expected in order to play at international level again.

He said in a lengthy statement released by Scottish Rugby: "We strive to create an environment for players to be at their absolute best when playing for Scotland. To do that players must be aligned to the high standards of being involved in team sport at an elite level.

"These standards are set out through feedback from players and staff and are driven by the player leadership group or the head coach at varying times during a campaign.

"We have players who come from around a dozen different clubs and it's really important they commit to an agreed standard of behaviour, which builds trust and is at the bedrock of a high-performance environment.

"These standards don't change for one player, even if that's not what they experience in their club setting."

He added: "Our team leaders made the decision there would be no drinking after our opening match of the Six Nations and they have been working closely with me on improving other aspects of our environment."

Townsend, who said he has "loved" working with Russell, continued: "Finn left camp on the Sunday night because of a disagreement over alcohol with fellow players and chose to miss the following day's (Monday) training and meetings. I arranged to meet with him that evening. It was a really positive meeting where we talked openly about life, rugby and what it means to play for Scotland.

"I left that meeting, after almost three hours, really optimistic that Finn would play a major part in our environment and be a committed team member. Unfortunately, things have not unfolded as well as we would have hoped.

"To play for Scotland takes total commitment. A lot of people make great sacrifices for the opportunity to represent 150 years of history and be among a special group of people who have had the honour of representing their nation.

"A lot of times, everything is not always how you'd like it to be. You might not agree with everything that is there, maybe because it's a different coach than the one you have at club level or a different way of preparing or playing. What is important is that you commit to the what has been agreed and put the best interests of the team first.

"In the Six Nations and this season we are playing teams in the top five or six in the world and the effort, planning and standards that go into preparing people physically and mentally are really important, as are the bonds that bring people together and the trust that must be created within the group.

"The door will be open to any player with the required level of ability – if they commit to being a trusted member of the team. It's been made clear that Finn could be a part of that future.

"However, he stated at the weekend that everything else has to change for him to come back, rather than accept and adhere to the standards currently being lived by the group.

"I hope this situation can be resolved but our focus is on working with the squad and building on the positive work that's gone in from the players for our first two games."

Scotland lock Jonny Gray will miss the rest of the Six Nations due to a hand injury.

The Glasgow Warriors forward was hurt during the 13-6 defeat to England at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Scottish Rugby confirmed in a statement that Gray will return to his club side for further treatment.

The 25-year-old, who started the losses to England and Ireland, will sit out the remaining Tests away to Italy and Wales and at home against France.

Gregor Townsend's side earned two losing bonus points from their opening matches.

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