Manu Tuilagi omitted from England squad for Six Nations clash with Scotland

Manu Tuilagi hasn't been included in the 23 man match day squad
Manu Tuilagi hasn't been included in the 23 man match day squad

For his first England squad as head coach, Steve Borthwick has left 50-cap centre Manu Tuilagi out of the matchday 23. 

Maintaining the maligned Marcus Smith-Owen Farrell axis in the midfield, it is Joe Marchant who starts at outside centre.

Elsewhere there is a debut for Ollie Hassell-Collins on the wing in a back three which also contains Max Malins and Freddie Steward. Jack van Poortvliet is the final starting back, and will have Leicester Tigers teammate Ollie Chessum in the forwards.

Chessum will pack down at lock alongside Maro Itoje, while the back-row is comprised of Lewis Ludlam, Ben Curry and Alex Dombrandt.

Veteran prop Dan Cole misses out on a starting spot, as Kyle Sinckler starts at tighthead prop, Ellis Genge is a vice-captain at loosehead prop and Jamie George has passed through return to play protocols to start at hooker.

“There are few fixtures in the rugby calendar that excite both players and supporters alike more than the annual Six Nations meeting of the Auld Enemy as they battle for the honour of lifting the Calcutta Cup,” Steve Borthwick said.

“Another packed Twickenham will witness the start of the next chapter of English rugby in one of the most keenly contested tournaments in the world.

“There is no doubt that this England team shares the supporters’ sense of eager anticipation.

“To a man, the players are determined to play with the commitment, fight and desire that is at the very heart of representing England, the sort of passion that our tremendous supporters rightly expect.”

On the bench, hooker Jack Walker is set to make his England debut, while experienced duo Mako Vunipola and Dan Cole are names. Nick Isiekwe will be hoping to win his first England cap since the summer and Ben Earl will earn his first cap since April 2021.  

Record cap holder Ben Youngs will add support to the scrum-half position, while Ollie Lawrence and Anthony Watson will be looking to take advantage of flagging defences as the game draws on. 

Playing Scotland, Borthwick’s squad will have their work cut out for them in their first outing since Eddie Jones’ sacking in early December.

Ending 2022 with their first losing record since 2008, the RFU board rolled the dice with just nine games before the Rugby World Cup in France and fast-tracked the appointment of the 43-year-old Cumbrian, who led Leicester Tigers to a Gallagher Premiership title at Twickenham Stadium.

England Starting XV

Freddie Steward; Max Malins, Joe Marchant, Owen Farrell (C), Ollie Hassell-Collins*; Marcus Smith, Jack van Poortvliet; Ellis Genge (VC), Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Ollie Chessum, Lewis Ludlam, Ben Curry, Alex Dombrandt


Jack Walker*, Mako Vunipola, Dan Cole, Nick Isiekwe, Ben Earl, Ben Youngs, Ollie Lawrence, Anthony Watson