Tindall takes England captaincy

Mike Tindall has taken over the England captaincy for their Six Nations opener with Wales. [more]

Tindall takes England captaincy

Mike Tindall has taken over the England captaincy for their Six Nations opener with Wales.

World Cup winner Tindall takes over from injury-victim Lewis Moody, while Northampton’s Tom Wood makes his international debut on the blindside flank in the absence of 2009 Lion Tom Croft.

Louis Deacon starts in the second row in place of the injured Courtney Lawes and James Haskell is selected at openside flanker due to Moody’s unavailability.

Elsewhere, England team manager Martin Johnson sticks with the same side that lost to South Africa in their last outing back in November, with Toby Flood preferred to Jonny Wilkinson at outside-half.

England include two Lions in their starting line up in Sale pair Mark Cueto and Andrew Sheridan, with a further four Lions named on the bench where Steve Thompson, Simon Shaw and Joe Worsley join veteran playmaker Wilkinson.

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Shontayne Hape joins Tindall in midfield for his first Six Nations appearance, with Northampton duo Ben Foden and Chris Ashton named alongside Cueto in the England back three.

Ben Youngs is selected next to Leicester half-back partner Flood, with fellow Tiger Dan Cole completing a front row that also features Sheridan and Dylan Hartley.

Tom Palmer partners Deacon in the second row, with Nick Easter named at No8.

England (vs Wales in Cardiff, Friday, 7.45pm)

15 Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
14 Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
13 Mike Tindall (Gloucester, captain)
12 Shontayne Hape (Bath)
11 Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks)
10 Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

1 Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks)
2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
4 Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers)
5 Tom Palmer (Stade Francais)
6 Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
7 James Haskell (Stade Francais)
8 Nick Easter (Harlequins)

Replacements

16 Steve Thompson (Leeds Carnegie)
17 David Wilson (Bath)
18 Simon Shaw (Wasps)
19 Joe Worsley (Wasps)

20 Danny Care (Harlequins)
21 Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon)
22 Matt Banahan (Bath)

NB Bold denotes Lion

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