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England’s Jones takes back-row risk against Wales

England will field one of their most inexperienced back-row combinations ever against a likely trio of British and Irish Lions when they take on Wales in their second Six Nations match in Cardiff today.

England coach Eddie Jones announced two changes to the team who beat France in their opener, with Jack Nowell in for Jonny May on the right wing and Jack Clifford at openside flanker for Tom Wood, who is named among the replacements and faces a late fitness test on an arm injury.

Clifford, who was not involved against France, has seven caps but his only international start came in last May’s game against the Welsh.

Blindside Maro Itoje, usually a lock, started in the back row for the first time last week, while number eight Nathan Hughes, winning his fifth cap, will make his third start.

With the news that Taulupe Faletau is fit for selection having been out injured since Christmas, Wales could field an all-Lions back row of him, former captain Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric, boasting more than 180 caps between them.

Whatever the Welsh combination it will be a huge test for England’s back row after their struggles against a powerful French group last week.

Playing today
Italy vs Ireland - 15.25
Wales vs England - 16.50

Tomorrow
France vs Scotland - 16.00

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