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Borthwick keeps faith with starting XV for crunch Wales clash
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Steve Borthwick is looking to make it back-to-back victories in the Six Nations
Steve Borthwick is looking to make it back-to-back victories in the Six Nations

England head coach Steve Borthwick is sticking with the same starting XV that beat Italy for Saturday's Six Nations clash with Wales at Twickenham. 

It is the first time the Red Roses have fielded an unchanged line-up since the World Cup final in 2019.

In the one change to the squad from the victory in Rome, Ellis Genge makes the bench after returning from injury. 

Borthwick, 44, said: "We're delighted to be back playing in front of a sold-out Twickenham. The visit of Wales is always a fixture that creates a special atmosphere."

Borthwick picked a fresh-looking side against Italy last weekend, with five players making their international bows in the 27-24 win, and he has opted for continuity.

The former Bath and Saracens star said: "With a new player group and a number of new caps, we have tried to develop our game on both sides of the ball. 

"Such changes take time and I was pleased how quickly the players settled and adapted against Italy." 

Prop Genge, 28, was a late withdrawal from the squad to face Italy but has shrugged off a foot injury to replace Beno Obano, while fly-half George Ford keeps his starting place.

Speaking to BBC 5 live Breakfast, Ford, 30, said: "It was a good start — you always want to start the Six Nations with a win

"There are many positives in it for me. But having said that we need to be a lot better at the same time.

"We need to maybe be a bit more consistent in all areas to build the game better and score more points.

"We'll be preparing for the best version of Wales. We understand they are a team that never go away, they never stop, they fight and fight and fight. We need a full-80 minute performance."

Wales narrowly lost their opening Six Nations game to Scotland 27-26 after a rousing second-half display saw them score 26 unanswered points. 

England XV: Steward; Freeman, Slade, Dingwall, Daly; Ford, Mitchell; Marler, George (capt), Stuart, Itoje, Chessum, Roots, Underhill, Earl. 

Replacements: Dan, Genge, Cole, Coles, Cunningham-South, Care, F Smith, Feyi-Waboso.

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