Smith starts against Wales with Genge captain

Smith starts against Wales with Genge captain

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Breaking news

Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 5 August Kick-off: 17:30 BST
Coverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.

Marcus Smith will start at fly-half for England against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, with Ellis Genge captaining the side.

Smith, 24, last started for England in the 53-10 defeat by France in the Six Nations, and is joined by Harlequins team-mate Danny Care at scrum-half.

Flanker Tom Pearson makes his debut, while potential debutants Theo Dan and Tom Willis are on the bench.

Max Malins is the only player from the Premiership final in the starting XV.

This is the team’s final match before head coach Steve Borthwick confirms his 33-man squad for the World Cup in France on Monday morning.

Regular captain Owen Farrell, plus fellow stalwarts Jamie George and Maro Itoje are absent from the squad after winning the Premiership with Saracens against Sale.

There are only five starters from the team that played Ireland in the Six Nations finale. Prop Genge is joined in the new front row by hooker Jamie Blamire and Will Stuart, with David Ribbans and George Martin in the second row.

Both Lewis Ludlam and Alex Dombrandt started the game against Ireland and are joined by debutant Pearson in the back row.

In the backline, Guy Porter partners Joe Marchant in a new-look midfield, with Bath winger Joe Cokanasiga returning to the side.

Full-back Freddie Steward, who was sent off in the defeat by Ireland, also remains in the starting XV.

Line-up

England: Steward; Malins, Marchant, Porter, Cokanasiga; Smith, Care; Genge (capt), Blamire, Stuart; Ribbans, Martin; Ludlam, Pearson, Dombrandt.

Replacements: Dan, Rodd, Sinckler, Hill, T Willis, Van Poortvliet, Ford, Slade.

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