Tom Curry will captain England against Scotland in Saturday’s Six Nations opener as Eddie Jones hands starts to Sam Simmonds, Elliot Daly, Nick Isiekwe and Joe Marchant
- England face Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday in their Six Nations opener
- Sale flanker Tom Curry will lead England out for the first time
- Captain Owen Farrell and his autumn stand-in Courtney Lawes are unavailable
- Exeter’s Sam Simmonds starts ahead of Harlequins’ Alex Dombrandt at No 8
- Nick Isiekwe is selected at lock with Jonny Hill and Lawes both missing
- Elliot Daly and Joe Marchant join forces in the backline amid injury crisis
No 8 Sam Simmonds will make his first England start for four years in Saturday’s Six Nations opener against Scotland.
Simmonds has been selected ahead of rival Alex Dombrandt, in a new-look back-row featuring Lewis Ludlam and stand-in skipper Tom Curry.
Injuries have forced Eddie Jones to name an unfamiliar looking team for the Calcutta Cup, with lock Nick Isiekwe also making his first Test start since 2018, alongside Maro Itoje.
Sam Simmonds (left) starts for the first time in four years, while Tom Curry (right) is captain
England team to play Scotland
15 Freddie Steward (Leicester); 14 Max Malins (Saracens), 13 Elliot Daly (Saracens), 12 Henry Slade (Exeter), 11 Joe Marchant (Harlequins); 10 Marcus Smith (Harlequins), 9 Ben Youngs (Leicester); 1 Ellis Genge (Leicester), 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter), 3 Kyle Sinckler (Bristol); 4 Maro Itoje (Saracens), 5 Nick Isiekwe (Saracens); 6 Lewis Ludlam (Northampton), 8 Sam Simmonds (Exeter), 7 Tom Curry (Sale, captain).
Replacements: 16 Jamie George (Saracens), 17 Joe Marler (Harlequins), 18 Will Stuart (Bath), 19 Charlie Ewels (Bath), 20 Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins); 21 Harry Randall (Bristol), 22 George Ford (Leicester), 23 Jack Nowell (Exeter)
The front-row has a more familiar feel, with Ellis Genge selected ahead of Joe Marler, partnering Luke Cowan-Dickie and Kyle Sinckler.
‘As the first game, this match is hugely important to both sides and we will both want to get off to a winning start,’ said Jones
‘We have a good, young team but we understand the task ahead and we’ll be ready to go after it from the first kick.
‘Tom Curry will captain the side for this game and has the respect of the team around him, in Owen and Courtney’s absence. He also has the support of the vice captains and other leaders in the team such as Maro Itoje and Ben Youngs.
Eddie Jones has named his England team to face Scotland in Saturday’s Six Nations opener
‘We have prepared really well for this game. We’ve had a number of obstacles thrown at us, but we’ve overcome them as a more together group and we’re looking forward to getting started.’
As revealed by Sportsmail, Elliot Daly will start in the centres alongside Henry Slade.
Ben Youngs and Marcus Smith will maintain their half-back combination from the autumn, with George Ford providing cover from the bench.
And Joe Marchant has returned a negative Covid test to start on the wing, alongside Max Malins and Freddie Steward.
Elliot Daly has been selected at outside centre having not been named in the initial squad