England team to face Scotland in Six Nations opener confirmed as Ollie Hassell-Collins handed debut

Debutant: Ollie Hassell-Collins  (Getty Images)
Debutant: Ollie Hassell-Collins (Getty Images)

Ollie Hassell-Collins will make his Test debut in Saturday’s Calcutta Cup clash after England confirmed their team for the Six Nations opener against Scotland.

The London Irish wing has forced his way into England’s starting XV off the back of a fine campaign with the Exiles.

Manu Tuilagi has missed out the matchday squad entirely. In what represents a major change for England, this will be perhaps the first time ever that the Sale centre has been overlooked when fit.

Harlequins No8 Alex Dombrandt steps into the back row, as expected, with Ben Curry winning just his second cap at openside flanker, and Northampton’s Lewis Ludlam at blindside.

Marcus Smith starts at fly-half with captain Owen Farrell at 12, while Ollie Chessum will partner Maro Itoje at lock.

Quins hooker Jack Walker is also primed for his debut off the bench, with Saracens’ Jamie George starting having recovered from concussion.

“Another packed Twickenham will witness the start of the next chapter of English rugby in one of the most keenly contested tournaments in the world,” said head coach Steve Borthwick.

“There is no doubt that this England team shares the supporters’ sense of eager anticipation.

“To a man the players are determined to play with the commitment, fight and desire that is at the very heart of representing England, the sort of passion that our tremendous supporters rightly expect.”

England team to face Scotland

Starting XV: F Steward (Leicester); M Malins (Saracens), J Marchant (Harlequins), O Farrell (Saracens), O Hassell-Collins (London Irish); M Smith (Harlequins), J Van Poortvliet (Leicester); E Genge (Leicester), J George (Saracens), K Sinckler (Bristol), M Itoje (Saracens), O Chessum (Leicester), L Ludlam (Northampton), B Curry (Sale), A Dombrandt (Harlequins).

Replacements: J Walker (Harlequins), M Vunipola (Saracens), D Cole (Leicester), N Isiekwe, B Earl (both Saracens), B Youngs (Leicester), O Lawrence (Bath), A Watson (Leicester).