Anthony Watson will make his first England start in nearly two years after being recalled for the Guinness Six Nations clash with Wales on Saturday.
Watson replaces Ollie Hassell-Collins on the left wing after suffering a knee injury during practice following a London Irish rookie second-round win over Italy.
An impressive backup appearance against Scotland at the start of the Championship was Watson’s first red rose outing since starting against Ireland in March 2021, but he played two Tests for the Lions in the same year. The 28-year-old started his Leicester career in October after recovering from a serious knee injury, but was limited to 11 games for his new club due to other issues.
Flying Dan Biggar and center George North were excluded from the Wales team. The captains were replaced by Owen Williams of the Ospreys and 20-year-old capless Cardiff center Mason Grady, respectively.
Williams got his first start in the Wales #10 jersey after playing at centre, and Grady partnered with Joe Hawkins in midfield.
Biggar snatched Wales at last season’s Six Nations and South Africa’s summer tour, but underperformed in Wales’ record 35-7 loss to Scotland 12 days ago.
Elsewhere, head coach Warren Gatland gave fullback Leigh Halfpenny his 98th cap – but it’s the first Wales debut from Liam Williams since he suffered a serious knee injury in July 2021. Winger Louis Rees-Zammit, prop Gareth Thomas and Lions forwards Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau are also among the nine changes.
England: steward; Malins, Slade, Lawrence, Watson; Farrell (c), Van Poortvliet; Genge, George, Sinckler; Itoje, Chess; Ludlam, Willis, Dombrandt.
Replacements: Walker, M Vunipola, Cole, Lawes, B Curry, Mitchell, M Smith, Arundell.
Wales: halfpenny; Adams, Grady, Hawkins, Rees-Zammit; O Williams, T Williams; G Thomas, Owens (captain), Francis, Beard, AW Jones, Tshiunza, Tipuric, Faletau.
Replacements: Roberts, Carre, Lewis, Jenkins, Refell, Hardy, Biggar, Tompkins
When is Wales v England?
The match, which will be played at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on Saturday, will kick off at 16:45.
how to watch
The Wales v England match will be broadcast live on BBC Sport. Licensee payers can stream live online via the BBC Sport app and website.
Additional reporting by PA