England's Six Nations ends with defeat in Dublin

England Six Nations Squad 2021

England’s 2021 Six Nations campaign ended with a whimper as Eddie Jones’s side lost 32-18 to Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Ireland were comfortable winners as England’s ill-discipline again reared its head. They did score two late tries through Ben Youngs and Jonny May, but those came after the sending off of Bundee Aki for a dangerous hit on Billy Vunipola.

It’s the first time since 1976 that England have lost their three championship matches to Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Related: Keith Earls try sparks Ireland rout of England

England team to play Ireland – Saturday 20 March

Elliot Daly; Anthony Watson, Ollie Lawrence, Owen Farrell, Jonny May; George Ford, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Charlie Ewels, Mark Wilson, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Jamie George, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Jonny Hill, Ben Earl, George Martin, Dan Robson, Joe Marchant.

England team to play France – Saturday 13 March

Max Malins; Anthony Watson, Henry Slade, Owen Farrell, Jonny May; George Ford, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Charlie Ewels, Mark Wilson, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Jamie George, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Jonny Hill, Ben Earl, Dan Robson, Ollie Lawrence, Elliot Daly.

RUGBY WORLD VERDICT

It’s great to see Max Malins get a start at full-back, writes Sarah Mockford. Elliot Daly hasn’t been in his best form and Malins deserves his chance. The 24-year-old has impressed since his loan move to Bristol Bears from Saracens and every time he’s come off the bench for England he has added a spark and provided a running threat.

England may have lost in Cardiff, but they looked more dangerous in attack than they have for a long while, with crisp passing along the back-line regularly getting them into Wales’ 22. They will need to do more of the same against France – and be more clinical – if they are to beat the tournament favourites. And be more disciplined, of course.

England team to play Wales – Saturday 27 February

Elliot Daly; Anthony Watson, Henry Slade, Owen Farrell (capt), Jonny May; George Ford, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Jonny Hill, Mark Wilson, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 George Martin, 21 Ben Earl, 22 Dan Robson, 23 Max Malins.

RUGBY WORLD VERDICT

At 6ft 6in and well north of 18st, Leicester’s George Martin is a big unit able to play in the second or back row, writes Alan Pearey. The teenager is a replacement for the absent Courtney Lawes and everyone will wish him well should he be summoned off the bench to make his senior England debut on Saturday.

Nevertheless, his selection is another slap in the face for Exeter’s Sam Simmonds, who has been the Premiership’s outstanding No 8 for the past two years. With Jack Willis having dropped out of the reckoning with injury, Eddie Jones had a chance to bring Simmonds, belatedly, back into the fold three years after his last cap.

Harlequins captain Alex Dombrandt is another back-row who can justly claim he is getting a raw deal from Jones. Both he and Simmonds are lineout options for their club – the Chiefs player is high up the chart for takes this season. But in any case Charlie Ewels is already in the match-day squad to provide cover at lock or six.

Billy Vunipola has been a world-class No 8 for years but isn’t playing like one. He needs to deliver in Cardiff. If not, it will be time for a change there against France in round four.

England Six Nations squad 2021 – Team to play Wales Billy Vunipola

Under pressure: Saracens No 8 Billy Vunipola in training at Twickenham this week (Getty Images)

Jones said recently that selection wasn’t important. He clearly can’t mean that. But there are plenty of people who feel his stubborn refusal to reward outstanding performers in the Premiership is undermining England’s efforts.

Will they have enough to beat Wales? On recent evidence, no. Two years ago England rained kicks down on the Welsh back three and made little headway. They lost 21-13.

It would be a surprise if they didn’t try to unnerve Louis Rees-Zammit in similar fashion on Saturday. From what we have seen, the Welsh youngster will be up to the challenge.

England team to play Italy – Saturday 13 February

Elliot Daly; Anthony Watson, Henry Slade, Owen Farrell, Jonny May; George Ford, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Jonny Hill, Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Jamie George, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Charlie Ewels, Ben Earl, Jack Willis, Dan Robson, Max Malins.

England team to play Scotland – Saturday 6 February

Elliot Daly; Anthony Watson, Henry Slade, Ollie Lawrence, Jonny May; Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs; Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Will Stuart, Maro Itoje, Jonny Hill, Mark Wilson, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Beno Obano, Harry Williams, Courtney Lawes, Ben Earl, Dan Robson, George Ford, Max Malins.

England Six Nations Squad 2021

Ahead of the round two fixture against Italy, Eddie Jones made two changes to his 28-player squad with props Kyle Sinckler and Mako Vunipola coming in for Harry Williams and Tom West.

After Jack Willis’s injury in that Italy match, George Martin was promoted from the ‘shadow squad’.

Bristol scrum-half Harry Randall picked up an ankle injury in training ahead of the third-round match against Wales and was replaced in the squad by Northampton’s Alex Mitchell.

Northampton lock David Ribbans was called up to the senior squad following the Wales defeat after fellow Saint Courtney Lawes was ruled out for the rest of the Six Nations. Lawes is expected to be out of action for 12 weeks after suffering a pectoral injury in training that now requires surgery.

Backs

(DoB/Club/Position/Test debut/caps)

Elliot Daly (8 Oct 1992/Saracens/Full-back or wing/2016 v Ireland/52 (+3 for Lions))
Owen Farrell (24 Sep 1991/Saracens/Fly-half or centre/2012 v Scotland/93 (+4 for Lions))
George Ford (16 Mar 1993/Leicester Tigers/Fly-half/2014 v Wales/77)
Ollie Lawrence (18 Sep 1999/Worcester Warriors/Centre/2020 v Itay/6)
Max Malins (7 Jan 1997/Bristol Bears/Full-back or fly-half/2020 v Georgia/7)
Jonny May (1 Apr 1990/Gloucester Rugby/Wing/2013 v Argentina/66)
Alex Mitchell (25 May 1997/Northampton Saints/Scrum-half/Uncapped)
Paolo Odogwu (18 Feb 1997/Wasps/Wing/Uncapped)
Dan Robson (14 Mar 1992/Wasps/Scrum-half/2019 v France/12)
Henry Slade (19 Mar 1993/Exeter Chiefs/Centre/2015 v France/38)
Anthony Watson (26 Feb 1994/Bath Rugby/Wing or full-back/2014 v New Zealand/51 (+3 for Lions))
Ben Youngs (5 Sep 1989/Leicester Tigers/Scrum-half/2010 v Scotland/109 (+2 for Lions))

Forwards
Luke Cowan-Dickie (20 Jun 1993/Exeter Chiefs/Hooker/2015 v France/31)
Tom Curry (15 Jun 1998/Sale Sharks/Flanker/2017 v Argentina/33)
Ben Earl (7 Jan 1998/Bristol Bears/Back-row/2020 v Scotland/13)
Charlie Ewels (29 Jun 1995/Bath Rugby/Lock/2016 v Fiji/21)
Ellis Genge (16 Feb 1995/Leicester Tigers/Prop/2016 v Wales/28)
Jamie George (20 Oct 1990/Saracens/Hooker/2015 v France/59 (+3 for Lions))
Jonny Hill (8 Jun 1994/Exeter Chiefs/Lock/2020 v Italy/9)
David Ribbans (29 Aug 1995/Northampton Saints/Lock/Uncapped)
Maro Itoje (28 Oct 1994/Saracens/Lock or back-row/2016 v Italy/48 (+3 for Lions))
George Martin (18 Jun 2001/Leicester Tigers/Lock/1)
Beno Obano (25 Oct 1994/Bath Rugby/Prop/2021 v Scotland/1)
Kyle Sinckler (30 Mar 1993/Bristol Bears/Prop/2016 v South Africa/44 (+3 for Lions))
Will Stuart (12 Jul 1996/Bath Rugby/Prop/2020 v France/12)
Billy Vunipola (3 Nov 1992/Saracens/No 8/2013 v Argentina/61)
Mako Vunipola (14 Jan 1991/Saracens/Prop/2012 v Fiji/67 (+6 for Lions))
Mark Wilson (6 Oct 1989/Newcastle Falcons/Flanker/2017 v Argentina/23)

SHADOW SQUAD
Charlie Atkinson (6 Oct 2001/Wasps/Fly-half/Uncapped)
Ali Crossdale (9 Jan 1998/Saracens/Wing/Uncapped)
Tom Dunn (12 Nov 1992/Bath Rugby/Hooker/2020 v Italy/3)
George Furbank (17 Oct 1996/Northampton Saints/Full-back/2020 v France/3)
Alec Hepburn (30 Mar 1993/Exeter Chiefs/Prop/2018 v Italy/6)
Joe Heyes (13 Apr 1999/Leicester Tigers/Prop/Uncapped)
Jonathan Joseph (21 May 1991/Bath Rugby/Centre/2012 v South Africa/54)
Lewis Ludlam (8 Dec 1995/Northampton Saints/Back-row/2019 v Wales/8)
Joe Marchant (16 Jul 1996/Harlequins/Centre/2019 v Wales/5)
Jacob Umaga (8 Jul 1998/Wasps/Fly-half/Uncapped)

England Six Nations Fixtures 2021

(All kick-off times are GMT)

Round 1

Sat 6 February, England 6-11 Scotland Scotland win Calcutta Cup at Twickenham

Round 2

Sat 13 February, England 41-18 Italy Jonny May scores wonder try against Italy

Round 3 

Sat 27 February, Wales 40-24 England Wales lift Triple Crown

Round 4

Sat 13 March, England 23-20 France Late Maro Itoje try wins Six Nations thriller

Round 5 

Sat 20 March, Ireland 32-18 England Keith Earls try sparks Ireland rout of England

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