Saints star Hartley skippers England against Ireland

Dylan Hartley is the sole Saints representative in the England starting line-up to face Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday (kick-off 4.50pm).

Dylan Hartley will captain England against Ireland (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Dylan Hartley will captain England against Ireland (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Hartley will captain Eddie Jones’s side, who have already beaten Scotland and Italy in this year’s Six Nations.

There are two other Northampton forwards in the matchday squad, with prop Paul Hill and Courtney Lawes on the bench.

Lawes had been dropped from the squad on Tuesday, his 27th birthday, but was recalled the following day after Joe Launchbury was ruled out with a hamstring problem.

Saracens player Maro Itoje gets a start in the second row, while Joe Marler comes in for Mako Vunipola at loosehead.

Wasps centre Elliot Daly looks set to make his debut from the bench.

“I have been pleased with the attitude the squad have shown during a comprehensive two weeks of training,” said England boss Jones.

“Everyone is pushing hard to be in contention so there were some tight calls on selection.

“Joe Marler made a big impact off the bench in Rome and will start at loose-head with Mako Vunipola finishing the game.

“Joe Launchbury is unlucky to miss out through injury; Maro Itoje is selected as a result and we’re pleased for him.

“Elliot Daly has worked hard this week and is now ready for a place in the 23. He can provide cover in several positions in the back line.

“Playing our first game at Twickenham after two away fixtures will be huge for us.

“We’re determined to put in a strong performance against a clever Irish side who are the benchmark of European rugby.”

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

Replacements: George, M Vunipola, Hill, Lawes, Clifford, Care, Daly, Goode.