Courtney Lawes ruled out of England clash with Wales following training injury

Courtney Lawes at England training session during 2021 Six Nations Courtney Lawes has been ruled out against Wales by injury (Adam Davy/PA)

England have suffered a major setback ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Wales after Courtney Lawes was ruled out by an injury sustained in training.

Lawes was poised to continue at blindside flanker for the Cardiff showdown only to suffer an unspecified injury during Wednesday afternoon’s customary full-blooded training session.

The Northampton forward’s place in the back row goes to Mark Wilson, who fills the vacancy in the number six jersey after being dropped for the round-two victory over Italy.

The only other change to the XV that routed the Azzurri at Twickenham is Jamie George returning at hooker in place of Luke Cowan-Dickie.

There are two changes on the bench in the form of Cowan-Dickie’s demotion from the starting line-up and the promotion of Leicester rookie George Martin, who is set to win his first cap.

Martin comes in for Jack Willis who will miss the rest of the season after suffering extensive knee damage against Italy.

Full-back Elliot Daly will get the chance to play his way out of his recent slump in form after given his 50th cap for the showdown at the Principality Stadium, the stage for his brilliant try in 2017.

And Daly’s Saracens team-mates Billy Vunipola and Owen Farrell, who are also out of form, continue in the starting XV, with the latter part of an unchanged backline.

“Wales is a really special fixture and rivalry. There is a long history between the two nations and the game means a lot to both countries,” head coach Eddie Jones said.

“We know we’ll be up against a strong Welsh challenge on Saturday, but we’ve worked really hard in training this week and have got a very good team to face it.

“We want to show people what we are capable of, keep building our performances and the best is yet to come from this England team.”

England team to play Wales

Forwards: 1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens), 2 Jamie George (Saracens), 3 Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears), 4 Maro Itoje (Saracens), 5 Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs), 6 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons), 7 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), 8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens)

Backs: 9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers), 10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers), 11 Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), 12 Owen Farrell (CAPTAIN, Saracens), 13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), 14 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), 15 Elliot Daly (Saracens)

Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), 17 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), 18 Will Stuart (Bath Rugby), 19 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), 20 George Martin (Leicester Tigers)*, 21 Ben Earl (Bristol Bears), 22 Dan Robson (Wasps), 23 Max Malins (Bristol Bears)

* Denotes uncapped player

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