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Six Nations: Steve Borthwick names first England team

Steve Borthwick has named his first England team for this weekend's Six Nations opener against Scotland at Twickenham, but there is no place in the matchday squad for experienced centre Manu Tuilagi.

Uncapped wing Ollie Hassell-Collins has been included in the starting XV for Saturday's Calcutta Cup showdown, while there is a first cap in 17 months for flanker Ben Curry, who takes the place of his injured brother Tom.

Borthwick, who succeeded Eddie Jones as England head coach at the end of last year, says the Twickenham crowd will experience "the start of the next chapter of English rugby" during Saturday's contest, as the 2003 World Cup winners look to put a disappointing 2022 behind them.

England are 2/7 to begin the Borthwick era with a victory in the Game Betting 3-way market, while Scotland are 3/1 to repeat their Twickenham heroics of 2021, as they look to claim a third-straight victory over the Auld Enemy. The tie is available at 28/1.

WhatEngland v Scotland – Six Nations 2023
WhereTwickenham Stadium, London
When16:45, Saturday 4th February 
How to watchITV1
OddsEngland 2/7, Tie 28/1, Scotland 3/1

Tuliagi left out of matchday squad

Borthwick has already shown he is keen to usher in a new era for English rugby after omitting the likes of Billy Vunipola, Jonny May and Jack Nowell from his original 36-man squad for the Six Nations that was announced last month.

The former Leicester Tigers head coach has now continued with that approach by leaving out Sale Sharks star Tuilagi, who has been a regular for England, when fit, ever since making his debut in 2011.

Joe Marchant has been given the nod ahead of Tuilagi at outside centre and will perhaps provide more pace and dynamism than the man he is replacing, as well as an understanding with Harlequins team-mate Marcus Smith, who starts at fly-half.

Smith's inclusion, forced in part due to the injury absence of Henry Slade, means captain Owen Farrell has been moved to inside centre, as England look to claim their first victory over Scotland at Twickenham since March 2017.

Hassell-Collins primed for debut

It was widely anticipated that London Irish wing Hassell-Collins would be handed his debut during Saturday's contest after he was preferred in the original squad to the more experienced May and Nowell and so it has proved, with the 24-year-old rewarded for some fine performances at club level this season.

Hassell-Collins had previously been called into England training squads by Jones, but he will now get the chance to underline his international credentials in what will no doubt be an intense atmosphere at Twickenham.

The 24-year-old has nine tries to his name at club level this season and he is 11/8 in the Anytime Tryscorer market to mark his England debut by crossing on Saturday.

A positive showing from Hassell-Collins would also boost his chances of forming part of Borthwick's squad for this year's World Cup - England are 11/2 to be crowned world champions in 2023.

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Van Poortvliet edges out Youngs

Another youngster has been given the nod at scrum-half, with Leicester Tigers ace Jack van Poortvliet preferred to the more experienced Ben Youngs, who is on the bench.

Max Malins will start on the opposite wing to Hassell-Collins, while the full-back role has gone to Freddie Steward.

Further forward, Jamie George has completed his return to play following concussion and will take the place of the injured Luke Cowan-Dickie at hooker, while Ollie Chessum will partner Maro Itoje in the second row, with Alex Dombrandt at number eight and Lewis Ludlam joining Curry in the back row.

Sale star Curry has not featured for England since making his Test debut off the bench against the United States in July 2021 and he is another that will be keen to seize the chance he has been given under Borthwick.

Kyle Sinckler will start at tighthead prop and Ellis Genge at loosehead to complete the line-up, while on the bench there is space for the uncapped hooker Jack Walker, experienced prop Dan Cole and wing Anthony Watson, who has only just returned from injury.

England have only managed two wins in each of their last two Six Nations campaigns, but they will be hoping for a positive start this weekend and they are 4/1 in the To Win Outright market, as they look to claim championship glory for the first time since 2020.

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