Hartley skippers England in Six Nations opener

Saints hooker Dylan Hartley will captain England when they take on Scotland in their RBS 6 Nations opener at Murrayfield on Saturday (kick-off 4.50pm).

Dylan Hartley will skipper England in their Six Nations opener
Dylan Hartley will skipper England in their Six Nations opener

Hartley’s club-mate Paul Hill is in line to win his first cap from the bench, with Courtney Lawes, who has recovered from a hamstring injury, fit enough to also be among the replacements.

England have named an experienced starting 15, while Hill is one of three debutants on the bench, with Jack Clifford and Ollie Devoto also in the 23.

Between them, Eddie Jones’ side have 512 international caps as they aim to retain the Calcutta Cup, a trophy they have held since 2008.

“There were some tight calls on selection, but we have picked a match-day squad with a blend of experience and youth,” said Jones.

“The boys have worked hard since coming into camp to understand how I want the team to play going forward. We have prepared well and I am pleased with the progress the group has made in the short time we’ve had together.”

Scotland: Hogg; Maitland, Bennett, Scott, Seymour; Russell, Laidlaw (c); Dickinson, Ford, Nel, R Gray, J Gray; Barclay, Hardie, Denton.

Replacements: McInally, Reid, Fagerson, Swinson, Cowan, Hidalgo-Clyne, Weir, Taylor.

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

Replacements: George, M Vunipola, Hill, Lawes, Clifford, Youngs, Goode, Devoto.