Tom Curry to captain England in Six Nations opener against Scotland

The 23-year-old back row becomes the country’s youngest skipper since Will Carling in 1988

Tom Curry will captain England in their Six Nations opener (Dave Rogers/PA)
Tom Curry will captain England in their Six Nations opener (Dave Rogers/PA)

Tom Curry has filled England’s leadership void after being named captain for Saturday’s Six Nations opener against Scotland at Murrayfield.

The 23-year-old back row becomes the country’s youngest skipper since Will Carling in 1988 and is appointed after injury ruled Owen Farrell and Courtney Lawes out of contention.

Marcus Smith has held off the challenge of George Ford to continue at fly-half for the Calcutta Cup clash.

England head coach Eddie Jones said: “Tom Curry will captain the side for this game and has the respect of the team around him, in Owen and Courtney’s absence.

“He also has the support of the vice captains and other leaders in the team such as Maro Itoje and Ben Youngs.”

Smith will marshal a new-look midfield that features Henry Slade at inside centre and Elliot Daly in the No 13 jersey, the position he filled for the Lions in the first two Tests of last summer’s South Africa tour.

Joe Marchant has recovered from Covid in time to take his place on the left wing while Max Malins takes the No 14 jersey, forcing Jack Nowell to settle for a spot among the replacements.

England have been ravaged by injury and the impact is also seen in the second and back rows.

Maro Itoje is joined at lock by Nick Isiekwe, who was only called into the squad last week as cover for Lawes in the hope that the Northampton forward would pass the return to play protocols for concussion.

A much changed back row sees Curry switched from number eight to openside, Lewis Ludlam take over at six and Sam Simmonds complete the trio.

“As the first game, this match is hugely important to both sides and we will both want to get off to a winning start,” Jones said.

“We have a good, young team but we understand the task ahead and we’ll be ready to go after it from the first kick.”

England team to face Scotland

15. Freddie Steward 14. Max Malins 13. Elliot Daly 12. Henry Slade 11. Joe Marchant 10. Marcus Smith 9. Ben Youngs 1. Ellis Genge 2. Luke Cowan-Dickie 3. Kyle Sinckler 4. Maro Itoje 5. Nick Isiekwe 6. Lewis Ludlam 7. Tom Curry (c) 8. Sam Simmonds

Finishers

16. Jamie George 17. Joe Marler 18. Will Stuart 19. Charlie Ewels 20. Alex Dombrandt 21. Harry Randall 22. George Ford 23. Jack Nowell

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