England captain Owen Farrell to start against Ireland as Manu Tuilagi returns

Skipper: Owen Farrell  (Action Images via Reuters)
Skipper: Owen Farrell (Action Images via Reuters)

Owen Farrell will start at fly-half and captain England in Saturday's Six Nations finale in Dublin.

The Saracens talisman will line up alongside centres Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade, as England revert to one of their 2019 World Cup midfield combinations. England will field a fourth different midfield trio in Steve Borthwick's fifth match at the helm.

Tuilagi is primed for his first appearance under head coach Borthwick, having completed a three-week suspension for a red card on Sale duty.

The 31-year-old has stayed with England's camp during his ban, grafting hard in training. He will aim to add ballast to a midfield shorn of Ollie Lawrence, who suffered a hamstring injury in Saturday's 53-10 home hammering by France.

England slumped to their record home loss as Les Bleus ran in seven tries at Twickenham last weekend, and now face an even tougher test in Dublin against the world's top-ranked team.

Prop Ellis Genge admitted the France defeat began and ended at the breakdown, with Borthwick's side determined to vastly improve in just one week.

Ireland can complete a Grand Slam in Dublin for the first time on Saturday, and on St Patrick's weekend to boot.

Genge said: "I don't think anything will take Ireland out of their stride, if I was Irish I'd be mustard for this, to win a Grand Slam at home. But I don't think they'll take us lightly, they'll give us respect, even off the back of the 50 points.

"I'm not in their camp, of course, but I think they've changed a lot in terms of their psyche. I think they used to love being an underdog team and now they're No1 in the world. I think they're a brilliant team.

"Now we're the underdog. That galvanises you, but in the same sense, I'd love to have won the majority of my games. Going into this game being the underdog isn't a bad thing, though."

England came into the Six Nations with Borthwick promising fight and spirit as a minimum.

The Red Rose men felt they let themselves down by not sticking to those vows in last weekend's France defeat, with Genge calling on England to right a few wrongs at the Aviva Stadium.

"We got hammered at home, we're going to the No1 side in the world on St Patrick's weekend, literally something made for them, and they can win a Grand Slam," said Genge. "All odds are against us, but I'm confident we'll come out swinging.

"Now it's about proving a point that we have got some fight in us, because that was questioned at the weekend, and it's not where we want to be as a team."

Robbie Henshaw and Ryan Baird are expected to start for Ireland, who can seal just their fourth Grand Slam in history. Henshaw should step in for Garry Ringrose, who suffered a head injury last week, while Baird is primed to replace Iain Henderson, who has broken a bone in his arm.