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Five Saints in Six Nations action this weekend

Five Northampton Saints stars will represent their countries in this weekend’s Six Nations action as England face Scotland, and Wales take on Ireland.

After starring in Wales’ opening rout of Italy, Dan Biggar will once again start again at fly-half for the defending Grand Slam Champions with head coach Wayne Pivac selecting the 30-year-old to play in Dublin.

“Momentum is important in the Championship,” said Pivac. “It was nice to get a good winning start under our belts and hopefully we can build on that through the tournament.”

Meanwhile in a much-changed England line-up, Lewis Ludlam comes into the back row at flanker to join George Furbank amongst the starters – while Courtney Lawes shifts to the bench.

The Red Rose will be locking horns with their north-of-the-border rivals with the Calcutta Cup once again on the line, and centre Rory Hutchinson will be hoping to have a say for the Scots as he is also named amongst the replacements for the Edinburgh showdown.

“Preparation this week has been great. We have sought to address the issues from the France game and have had a really good and sharp preparation for Scotland,” said England head coach Eddie Jones.

“Scotland are a dangerous side. They like to play with a lot of width and with a lot of flow and tempo in their game. We want to make sure we dominate the gain line.

“Their win record against England at Murrayfield is substantially higher than their overall record against us, so we have to recognise they are a dangerous beast and we have to be at our best to beat them.”

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend added: “We were proud of parts of our performance in Dublin at a very difficult venue. The challenge for the squad is to replicate that level and take our chances when they come, in order to win tight games.

“England are an excellent team whose run to the Rugby World Cup final was no fluke. They will be smarting from their opener in Paris and Eddie will have them primed to come to Edinburgh and put in an improved performance.”

England side to face Scotland

15 George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 1 cap)
14 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 53 caps)
13 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 48 caps)
12 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 80 caps) C
11 Elliot Daly (Saracens, 40 caps)
10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 66 caps)
9 Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 10 caps)
1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 58 caps)
2 Jamie George (Saracens, 46 caps) 
3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 32 caps)
4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 35 caps)
5 George Kruis (Saracens, 42 caps)
6 Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 7 caps)
7 Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 16 caps) 
8 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 20 caps)

16 Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
17 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 15 caps)
18 Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 1 cap)
19 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 62 caps)
20 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 82 caps)
21 Ben Earl (Saracens, uncapped)
22 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 96 caps)
23 Ollie Devoto (Exeter Chiefs, 2 caps)

Scotland side to face England

15 Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) – 73 caps
14 Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 45 caps
13 Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 24 caps
12 Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) – 10 caps
11 Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 18 caps
10 Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 17 caps
9 Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 29 caps

1 Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) – 4 caps
2 Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 47 caps
3 Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 26 caps
4 Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps
5 Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 56 caps
6 Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh) – 15 caps
7 Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 29 caps
8 Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh) – 11 caps

16 Stuart McInally (Edinburgh) – 34 caps
17 Allan Dell (London Irish) – 29 caps
18 Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 24 caps
19 Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) – 23 caps
20 Nick Haining (Edinburgh) – 1 cap
21 George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 11 caps
22 Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints) – 4 caps
23 Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 15 caps

Wales side to face Ireland

15 Leigh Halfpenny (86 Caps)
14 George North (92 Caps)
13 Nick Tompkins (1 Cap)
12 Hadleigh Parkes (26 Caps)
11 Josh Adams (22 Caps)
10 Dan Biggar (80 Caps)
9 Tomos Williams (17 Caps)

1 Wyn Jones (23 Caps)
2 Ken Owens (74 Caps)
3 Dillon Lewis (23 Caps)
4 Jake Ball (43 Caps)
5 Alun Wyn Jones (C) (135 Caps)
6 Aaron Wainwright (19 Caps)
7 Justin Tipuric (73 Caps)
8 Taulupe Faletau (73 Caps)

16 Ryan Elias (10 Caps)
17 Rhys Carre (6 Caps)
18 Leon Brown (7 Caps)
19. Adam Beard (20 Caps)
20 Ross Moriarty (42 Caps)
21 Gareth Davies (51 Caps)
22 Owen Williams (3 Caps)
23 Johnny McNicholl (1 Cap)

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