Brookes stays with England ahead of Wales showdown

Kieran Brookes (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Kieran Brookes (picture: Sharon Lucey)

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Kieran Brookes has been retained by England ahead of their crucial Six Nations clash with Wales at Twickenham on Saturday.

Brookes, who has yet to feature in a game in this year’s tournament, joins Dylan Hartley in a 24-man group kept on by head coach Eddie Jones.

But there is no place for Paul Hill, who won his first Test cap in the win in Italy last month, or Luther Burrell, who had come into the squad as an injury replacement for Marland Yarde.

Hill and Burrell will now be available for Saints’ Aviva Premiership game against Sale Sharks at Franklin’s Gardens this Saturday.

Courtney Lawes is ruled out with the ankle injury he sustained in Saints’ win at Saracens last weekend.

Wales have already named their team for the Twickenham Test, with boss Warren Gatland opting not to make any changes to the side which saw off France in the most recent match.

That means George North, who has scored twice in this year’s competition, retains his place on the wing.

England will name their team on Thursday at 10am.

England’s 24-man squad: Brookes (Saints), Cole (Leicester Tigers), Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Clifford (Harlequins), George (Saracens), Hartley (Saints), Haskell (Wasps), Itoje (Saracens), Kruis (Saracens), Launchbury (Wasps), Marler (Harlequins), Robshaw (Harlequins), B Vunipola (Saracens), M Vunipola (Saracens); Brown (Harlequins), Care (Harlequins), Daly (Wasps), Farrell (Saracens), Ford (Bath Rugby), Joseph (Bath Rugby), Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Watson (Bath Rugby), Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

Wales’ starting 15: Williams (Scarlets); Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Davies (Clermont), Roberts (Harlequins), North (Saints); Biggar (Ospreys), Davies (Scarlets); Evans (Scarlets), Baldwin (Ospreys), Lee (Scarlets), Davies (Wasps), Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Lydiate (Ospreys), Warburton (Cardiff Blues), Faletau (Newport).

Replacements Owens (Scarlets), James (Ospreys), Francis (Exeter), Charteris (Racing), Tipuric (Ospreys), Webb (Ospreys), Priestland (Bath), Anscombe (Cardiff).