Six Nations blow for England as Ben Te'o ruled out for competition opener
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With the 2019 Rugby Six Nations getting underway this Friday, England have been dealt a cruel blow as they prepare to face Ireland on Saturday evening. Worcester Warriors Centre Ben Te'o suffered an injury whilst training in Portugal this week as the squad gets ready to face last years winners Ireland. Due to Te'o's injury, a start could be given to 27-year-old Leicester Tigers Centre Manu Tuilagi, who missed the 2018 competition, after turning up drunk to the team's hotel back in August 2017.
England will also be without Wasps flanker Brad Shields and Bath wing Joe Cokanasiga, who are both absent for the opener in Dublin. Ahead of the clash, England coach Eddie Jones told Virgin Media Sport: "They (Ireland) play a very strong kicking game and in autumn the played a little bit more, passed the ball a lot more. "You got to remember that the Six Nations is completely different rugby from autumn rugby. I'm sure 'cause they are so well coached, they will play how they need to play to win the Six Nations." The full England squad can be found below. You can watch Saturday's game live on ITV. Forwards: Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons) Backs: Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Owen Farrell (Saracens) captain, George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Dan Robson (Wasps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Lead image credit: Skadd77 on Wikipedia Commons