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Lawes returns for England against Wales

Courtney Lawes returns to England’s matchday 23 as Steve Borthwick’s side prepare to take on Wales in the third round of the Guinness Six Nations this weekend. 

The 34-year-old second row is named as vice captain on England’s bench for the clash at the Principality Stadium, with fellow Saints Lewis Ludlam and Alex Mitchell also named in the squad. 

Club captain Ludlam will start the match in the back row, while scrum-half Mitchell will hope to add to his explosive display from the bench against Italy in Cardiff from amongst the replacements. 

Head coach Borthwick said: “Wales v England in Cardiff is one of the iconic rugby fixtures, steeped in history and always full of passion. 

“We know the Principality Stadium crowd will be in full voice and we will have to be at our very best to repeat the success we had in the last round against Italy. 

“I have selected a team that I think has the right players and balance to meet the particular challenges we will face this weekend.

“I am delighted to have welcomed Courtney Lawes back to the squad after injury. His quality and experience has contributed to a focused training week, marked by the sort of competition and intensity we expect.  

“I could not have asked any more from all the players and there is no doubt that they can’t wait to be a part of this special occasion.”

Wales v England is live on BBC One and BBC Radio 5 Live.

England squad to face Wales

15 Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 19 caps)
14 Max Malins (Saracens, 16 caps)
13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 53 caps)
12 Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)
11 Anthony Watson (Leicester Tigers, 52 caps)
10 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 103 caps) (C)
9 Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 9 caps)

1 Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 45 caps) (VC)
2 Jamie George (Saracens, 74 caps)
3 Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 58 caps)
4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 64 caps)
5 Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 7 caps)
6 Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 16 caps)
7 Jack Willis (Toulouse, 7 caps)
8 Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 11 caps)

Replacements:
16 Jack Walker (Harlequins, 1 cap)
17 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 76 caps)
18 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 97 caps)
19 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 96 caps) (VC)
20 Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, 2 caps)
21 Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 2 caps)
22 Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 19 caps)
23 Henry Arundell (London Irish, 4 caps)

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