Saints star Brookes delighted to be back in England picture

Kieran Brookes (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Kieran Brookes (picture: Sharon Lucey)

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Kieran Brookes says it is ‘brilliant’ to be back in England’s matchday squad.

The Saints prop has been named on the bench for the crucial Six Nations clash with Wales at Twickenham on Saturday.

Brookes has yet to feature in the tournament, with club-mate Paul Hill the man providing back-up for Leicester’s Dan Cole.

But the former Newcastle Falcons star has been impressing for Saints in recent weeks and has done enough to earn a place among the England replacements this weekend.

“It’s brilliant, it’s something I’ve been working hard towards for the past four or five weeks and I’ve been told to come in and get my opportunity on the bench,” said Brookes.

“I’m hoping to get as much game time as possible but results come first, if I’m not used but we win then I’d take that over being used and not winning.”

Brookes featured in last year’s World Cup campaign and has 15 caps to his name so far.

He is now looking forward to getting some game time under new England head coach Eddie Jones for the first time.

“In and around the camp it’s very positive, the lads have created a good environment and he (Jones) has come in and he’s very personal and chats to all the players so that he can get to know everybody,” Brookes said.

“I think everybody is very happy, we work hard on the pitch and off it in analysis as well.”

Dylan Hartley will captain England against Wales, who have named George North in their starting line-up.

England: Brown; Watson, Joseph, Farrell, Nowell; Ford, B Youngs; Marler, Hartley (c), Cole; Itoje, Kruis; Robshaw, Haskell, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, M Vunipola, Brookes, Launchbury, Clifford, Care, Tuilagi, Daly.

Wales: Williams; Cuthbert, J Davies, Roberts, North; Biggar, G Davies; Evans, Baldwin, Lee, B Davies (Wasps), Wyn Jones, Lydiate, Warburton, Faletau.

Replacements Owens, James, Francis, Charteris, Tipuric, Webb, Priestland, Anscombe.