England v Scotland: Ollie Lawrence to make first Six Nations start



Ollie Lawrence was a replacement in England’s 2020 Six Nations win against Italy
Venue: Twickenham Stadium Date: Saturday 6 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Coverage: Listen to commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Scotland; live text commentary and post-match video highlights on the BBC Sport website and app.

Centre Ollie Lawrence will make his first Six Nations start for defending champions England against Scotland in the Calcutta Cup on Saturday.

The 21-year-old will win his fourth cap and line up at inside centre with Henry Slade wearing number 13 at Twickenham.

Owen Farrell captains from fly-half with George Ford among the replacements.

In the forwards there are starts for lock Jonny Hill and returning flanker Mark Wilson.

Bath prop Beno Obano is set for his debut off the bench, while experienced forward Courtney Lawes has also been named as a replacement after making his comeback from injury.

In the absence of the suspended Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart will make his first Six Nations start at tighthead prop.

Sinckler is one of five absent forwards, with prop Mako Vunipola, lock Joe Launchbury and flanker Sam Underhill injured. Prop Joe Marler withdrew from the squad for personal reasons.

“It was difficult to pick the 23 players. We’ve had a really good week of training. It’s been very competitive but I’ve gone with what I feel is the strongest 23 for this week,” said head coach Eddie Jones.

This game marks the 150-year anniversary of the sport’s oldest fixture, after the first rugby international was played between the two sides in Edinburgh in 1871.

“We’re really looking forward to this game and getting the Guinness Six Nations back under way. It’s even more special to be taking part in a 150th anniversary game,” added Jones.

Worcester centre Lawrence, 21, has already earned three England caps. He made his debut when he came off the bench in England’s final 2020 Six Nations game against Italy in October.

Jones showed yet more faith in Lawrence with two starts in the Autumn Nations Cup and it seems the England head coach thinks the promising young back is ready for more.

With Manu Tuilagi ruled out because of an Achilles injury, Jones cited Lawrence’s “power” as one of the reasons for his inclusion in the England squad back in October.

Another young centre, Wasps’ Paolo Odogwu, had also been named in this year’s Six Nations squad but it would appear the 23-year-old will have to wait for his England debut.

England team to face Scotland

England: Daly; Watson, Slade, Lawrence, May; Farrell (capt), Youngs; Genge, George, Stuart, Itoje, Hill, Wilson, Curry, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Obano, Williams, Lawes, Earl, Robson, Ford, Malins.

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