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Malins set for first Six Nations start as England drop Daly for France

Malins comes in for Elliot Daly, who is dropped to the bench after an inconsistent run of form, while Luke Cowan-Dickie and Charlie Ewels start in the pack.

England have lost two of their three games in the Championship, against Scotland – at home for the first time in 38 years – and Wales away. Their only victory has come against Italy, winless in the Six Nations since 2015, so they are desperate for a stronger, more disciplined performance this week.

Jones said that “makes this an even more important game” because “we want to show what we are capable of.”

Malins, who is on loan at Bristol Bears from Saracens, made his debut in the autumn campaign, but has been limited to cameos off the bench in his first six Tests.

He is handed a start at full-back, with Daly on Jones’s readjusted bench, which contains three backs. Ollie Lawrence receives a welcome return having been left out of the 23 following a quiet game against Scotland in which he touched the ball just once.

Daly – who won his 50th cap in Cardiff and has been England’s first-choice full-back since he summer tour of South Africa in 2018 – suffered another patchy game in Cardiff, regularly being turned over but showing encouraging intent in attack.

Malins slots into an otherwise unchanged backline, between Jonny May and Anthony Watson, who wins his 50th England cap, in the back three.

Up front, Jones has made two changes. Jones has rotated his hookers during this campaign, with Cowan-Dickie given the nod in the No2 jersey this week after making his first Six Nations start in the Italy win. Jamie George settles for a place on the bench.

REUTERS

So does Jonny Hill, with Bath captain Ewels starting in his place.

Jones has resisted changing his back row, with Mark Wilson getting the nod at blindside flanker ahead of Ben Earl and Maro Itoje remaining at lock despite consideration being given to starting him at No6 for the first time since 2017.


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