Wales need a victory against France in Paris to reclaim the Six Nations crown, and complete a Grand Slam in the process.

Wayne Pivac's team have enjoyed a sensational turnaround in fortunes this year and last week's 48-7 thrashing of lowly Italy made it four wins from four.

With France subsequently losing to England at Twickenham, Wales will wrap up the title with a win on Saturday, while even a losing bonus point could be enough, though that may still leave the door open for Les Bleus to snatch glory should they win their postponed fixture against Scotland.

England are well out of the race, but their captain Owen Farrell is eyeing up a points landmark when the 2020 champions take on Ireland in Dublin.

Scotland, meanwhile, round off what will ultimately go down as a frustrating campaign against Italy.

We use Opta data to preview the round-five, Super Saturday encounters.

 

SCOTLAND V ITALY

FORM

Scotland have won their last five Six Nations games against Italy – the previous 10 clashes between the sides had seen them share five wins each.

Italy have lost 52 of 54 away games in the Six Nations, with their only two victories on the road coming in Scotland in 2007 and 2015.

That victory at Murrayfield in 2015 was Italy's last in the competition. Their losing streak now stands at 31 games, and they will pick up the wooden spoon for the 16th time in Six Nations history.

ONES TO WATCH

Scotland have the best tackle success rate (92 per cent) of any side in this year's competition. Hamish Watson leads the way in that regard, completing all 44 of his attempted tackles – he has made 133 consecutive tackles in the tournament without missing one, the second-longest such run in Six Nations history, behind Lionel Nallet's 154 for France.

Italy's Sebastian Negri has made 127 post-contact metres in the 2021 Six Nations, the most of any forward in the championship.

IRELAND V ENGLAND

FORM

England have won their last two meetings with Ireland in the Six Nations and could win three in a row against them for only the second time, after doing so between 2012 and 2014.

Ireland lost to France in their last home game, only once before have they suffered defeat in back-to-back home games in the Six Nations – in 2010 versus Scotland at Croke Park and 2011 versus France at the Aviva Stadium.

Jones' England have won their last four Tests against Ireland, preventing them from scoring any first-half points in their last two meetings and scoring an average of 4.3 tries per game in that run.

ONES TO WATCH

CJ Stander announced his retirement this week, with the 31-year-old set to hang up his boots at the end of the season. This will be his final appearance for Ireland, having won his 50th cap in the 27-24 win over Scotland in round four.

Owen Farrell, son of Ireland coach Andy, is the top scorer in the Six Nations this year (44) and is just six points away from 500 in the championship. Only Ronan O'Gara (557) has reached that milestone exclusively in the Six Nations (since 2000).

FRANCE V WALES

FORM

Wales are bidding to win a sixth Six Nations title (since 2000), only England (seven) have won the championship more often. If they win this match it would be their fifth
Grand Slam – no other side has more than three.

Recent history is on Wales' side heading to the Stade de France. They have won three of their last four away games against Les Bleus in the Six Nations (L1), triumphing in their last trip to Paris (24-19 in 2019) despite trailing by 16 points at half-time – the biggest comeback for a team in the competition. 

Indeed, pre-tournament favourites France have won only two of their last nine Six Nations games against Wales (L7) after winning nine of the previous 12 (L3).

ONES TO WATCH

Antoine Dupont already has four try assists in this Six Nations, only five players have ever recorded more in an edition of the championship, with Frederic Michalak
(seven in 2006) the only Frenchman to do so.

Louis Rees-Zammit is the joint top try scorer in the 2021 Six Nations (four, level with England's Anthony Watson). Shane Williams (six in 2008) is the only Welsh player to score more than four in an edition of the tournament.

Eddie Jones and Owen Farrell refused to point the finger at referee Pascal Gauzere after clinical Wales beat England 40-24 to secure the Triple Crown.

The Red Rose's hopes of retaining the Six Nations title are all-but over after Wales scored four tries in a bonus-point victory at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

England were made to pay for indiscipline as Wales moved two wins away from a Grand Slam in Cardiff, but the defending champions had every right to feel aggrieved by two controversial first-half tries.

Josh Adams touched down in the corner when he was picked out by a kick from Dan Biggar soon after Gauzere had called time out, having instructed captain Farrell to warn his team-mates about giving away too many penalties.

Farrell confronted Gauzere after he allowed that try to stand and both players were stunned when Liam Williams was awarded a score following a knock-on from Louis Rees-Zammit.

Jones said ahead the match that Gauzere would be under pressure to make the right decisions and the England head coach has previous with the French official, who he complained about to World Rugby in 2018.

The Australian would not say whether he would speak to the governing body again after tries from Anthony Watson and Ben Youngs, as well as 14 points for Farrell, were in vain.

Jones told BBC Sport: "It is what it is. We can't argue with the referee, the result is there in stone, we've got to accept it. Maybe they were tough calls but we weren't good enough to overcome that.

"I'm not going to make a comment on it, I accept the referee's decision. It could have been tough, but we've got to handle it. That’s the decision. It’s 40-24, let’s accept that we weren’t good enough on the day.

"We might have had some though calls. We’ve got to adapt to the game, adapt to the referee. If the referee is going to referee like that, we’ve got to deal with it."

Asked if he might make another complaint over Gauzere, he said: "That's not something to discuss today. Wales were worthy winners.

"I was pleased with how our players fought back, got ourselves back to 24-24 and probably the last play summed up our day.

"We did some lovely attacking work, get to the last pass, they intercepted and go down and score at the other end. That’s the difference of the game."

Skipper Farrell was also not prepared to blame Gauzere.

Asked about the referee's performance, he said: "That's not for us to talk about. We got our way back into it and didn't quite finish it off. There’s plenty that we can do better.

"I'd have to look back at it [the first Wales try]. I don’t know [if we could have been more alert]. There's no point in talking about it now, let everybody else talk about it. We’ll focus on what we can control. We’ll control what we can control."

England fell foul of some contentious refereeing decisions and indiscipline as Wales clinched a Six Nations triple crown with a 40-24 bonus-point win in Cardiff.

Eddie Jones' team felt hard done by in the first half with referee Pascal Gauzere at the centre of the discussion, allowing questionable tries from Josh Adams and Liam Williams to stand.

Anthony Watson's try handed England some momentum heading into the second half, though Kieran Hardy's effort seemed to have put Wales back in control.

Owen Farrell moved onto 1000 points in international rugby either side of Ben Youngs' score to level proceedings, yet a trio of composed penalties from Callum Sheedy and a late Cory Hill try settled a topsy-turvy contest.

Biggar kicked Wales ahead in the fifth minute, though Williams just denied Mario Itoje an opening try after a charge down at the other end.

Farrell restored parity after Ben Youngs' break resulted in an England penalty, but the visiting captain was soon left seething with referee Gauzere soon after.

England were given little time to set from a penalty restart, and Biggar's kick found Adams, who raced over in the corner.

Farrell channelled his frustration as he slotted a long-range penalty between the posts, though another contentious call then went against the Red Rose as Williams went over.

Louis Rees-Zammit's fumble in the build-up was adjudged to have gone backwards, and Biggar's conversion clipped the post on its way through.

England hit back when Watson forced himself through a crowd of defenders, and though Farrell missed the kick, he atoned with a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

Hardy cruised through a gap to restore Wales' cushion, though Farrell's penalty pulled England to within seven points – the skipper then reached his milestone 1000 international points by converting Youngs' try.

But with the scores level, defensive errors cost England, and in the space of eight minutes, Sheedy had struck nine points.

It set the stage for Hill to add further gloss as he bundled over under the sticks to send Wales to the top of the standings in style.

Wales looking good in Wayne's world

It was a tough 2020 for Wayne Pivac, but the New Zealander now has his team playing with real confidence and belief.

England might point to the refereeing decisions going against them, but their own errors in the final stages ultimately proved decisive and Wales took full advantage. They now top the standings by two points, with France not playing this weekend due to a COVID-19 outbreak in their camp, and having wrapped up a triple crown, look well on course for a Grand Slam.

Farrell's landmark proves fruitless

It is now 1000 points from 91 caps for England captain Farrell, who appeared to be leading his side back into the contest until those costly defensive slip ups.

Farrell is just the second man to reach that tally for England after World Cup 2003 hero Jonny Wilkinson (1179).

What's next?

England face another huge test in the form of France in round four, while Wales travel to Rome to face lowly Italy.

England are back to being themselves after recovering from last week's defeat to Scotland with a 41-18 victory over Italy on Saturday, according to captain Owen Farrell.

The reigning champions ran in six tries to claim a bonus-point victory at Twickenham, a week on from losing 11-6 to Calcutta Cup rivals Scotland.

Monty Ioane put Italy ahead early on but Jonny Hill gave England lift-off with their opening try and Anthony Watson crossed over either side of Jonny May's 32nd Test try.

Jack Willis touched down on his debut and, though Tommaso Allan added a second for Italy, it was plain sailing for the home side as Elliot Daly ran through down the left.

And while accepting England were far from their best against Italy, Farrell was pleased with the way they responded to their opening loss.

"We're back to being 'us' there," he told ITV. "It wasn't a perfect performance, not the best we've ever had, but in terms of the feeling, the energy and the intent, that felt back to 'us'..

"We had some honest conversations with ourselves during the week... there was excitement to get on the training field and put things right. 

"And the way that we built up showed in the way that we played. I thought we attacked the game. 

"Obviously they had an advantage to move the ball and they ended up scoring a try, which was probably a bit over over-eagerness from us

"But after that I thought our intent was brilliant. We got in behind them, probably not everything went our way, but we stuck at it and the game ended up going our way."

England have now won each of their 22 Six Nations fixtures against Italy, who have lost their last 29 matches in the competition in a run stretching back to February 2015.

The Azzurri offered promising glimpses, not least with their second-quickest ever Six Nations try through Ioane, but England ultimately proved too strong on home soil.

"Credit to Italy, they were tough, they never gave up, and we knew they were going to do that," said England prop Kyle Sinckler. 

"Up front they were strong, their forwards carried hard, their backs had good energy... it was a tough, tough test match but our boys got stuck in there and got the win."

Echoing the thoughts of skipper Farrell, Sinckler hailed England's response to last week's rare home loss.

"I think it was a step in right direction. I think our intent was a lot better today, especially up front," he said. 

"We probably didn't get the rewards we wanted, but in terms of the intent, and showing how much it means to us to play for our country, I think it was a step in the right direction.

"We were obviously very frustrated with the performance last week, and we knew we had to step up and play the England way, and the way we want to dominate up front. 

"We did that at times today, but we know there's so much more to give. But like I said, it was a step in the right direction. The game's done, we move on to the next one."

Next up for England is a showdown with Wales at the Principality Stadium on February 27.

England head coach Eddie Jones has named a new-look front row and recalled George Ford for the Six Nations game against Italy on Saturday.

The reigning champions went down 11-6 to Scotland on the opening weekend of the 2021 tournament, their first defeat to their Calcutta Cup rivals at Twickenham in 38 years. 

As he looks for a response following that setback, Jones has selected Ford at fly-half in his starting XV, meaning captain Owen Farrell switches to inside centre for the clash with the Azzurri. 

In the pack, the fit-again Mako Vunipola comes in to play opposite fellow prop Kyle Sinckler, while Luke Cowan-Dickie gets the nod at hooker ahead of Jamie George, who is on the bench. 

Courtney Lawes also gets a start at flanker, joining Tom Curry and Billy Vunipola in the back row.  

Ollie Lawrence – who was handed his first Six Nations start against Scotland – is absent from the 23-man squad entirely, with Henry Slade picked to play next to Farrell in midfield.  

"As always, we've picked what we think is our strongest 23 to try and win the game," Jones said.

"We're pleased to have Mako and Kyle back into the team and we've made some changes to our starting XV, but our finishers are just as important to our gameplan. We look at the whole 80 minutes.  

"We've trained very well this week, I've been very pleased with the players' attitudes and work-rate. We're hoping to put on a good performance on Saturday and kick on with our Six Nations campaign." 


England team to face Italy at Twickenham:

Elliot Daly, Anthony Watson, Henry Slade, Owen Farrell (captain), Jonny May, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Jonny Hill, Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola

Replacements: Jamie George, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Charlie Ewels, Ben Earl, Jack Willi, Dan Robson, Max Malins.

Owen Farrell hailed England for digging deep to beat France in a tense Autumn Nations Cup final clash at Twickenham.

Eddie Jones's side triumphed 22-19 after extra time thanks to a sudden-death penalty from Farrell against an inexperienced France side missing 25 senior players.

Les Bleus led by seven points with four minutes of normal time remaining, but a last-gasp try from Luke Cowan-Dickie and a Farrell conversion prolonged a contest that was eventually settled by the captain's boot.

It was a difficult outing for Farrell, who missed four penalty attempts – the most he ever has in a Test match – including one effort that struck the post early in extra time.

However, the Saracens star held his nerve at the critical moments to seal England's eighth consecutive Twickenham victory over France and become only the sixth man to record 1,000 points in Test rugby.

He told Amazon Prime Sport: "We probably didn't come out of the blocks in the first half but the performance when we were on the back foot, and to keep giving me chances to win the game... it took a while! I thought the boys were excellent.

"To be fair, they gave me a few chances of winning it and I didn't quite make them. I was just thankful we got the win. The boys deserved it after that second-half performance.

"Of course there will be stuff to work on, especially in that first half, and of course there's always stuff to get better at and that will be highlighted. 

"But I thought the attitude we came out with in the second half, and when we were under pressure a bit towards the end to get that try and take it into extra time, and to get us two shots at goal to get us two chances to win it, I thought it was a great effort.

"It's been a good nine weeks together. We feel like we've grown again and it's not too long before we get back together again."

England's man of the match Billy Vunipola praised France for a clinical and disciplined performance in which they converted all five penalty kicks and won 10 turnovers to England's four, missing only 20 of 149 tackles.

"They were outstanding, they challenged us all over the pitch," Vunipola said. "They are a great team and we are lucky we came out on the right side of the result.

"Eddie reassured us we can do this. It is another trophy and we keep improving, trying to be the greatest team in the world."

Owen Farrell scored the decisive points as England came from behind to defeat an understrength France 22-19 in sudden death extra time and win the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup.

England captain Farrell missed four of his nine kicks at goal but was successful with a conversion after the 80th minute and a penalty in the second additional period as Eddie Jones' side avoided a chastening Twickenham defeat.

Les Bleus were without 25 key players due to an agreement with Top 14 clubs limiting the amount of times they could select any player during the extended Test window, forcing them to turn to members of their Under-20 World Cup triumphs of 2018 and 2019.

Brice Dulin touched down in the first half and the successful kicking of Matthieu Jalibert and Louis Carbonel gave France a seven-point lead with four minutes remaining.

However, Farrell added the extras following Luke Cowan-Dickie's late try and he made up for a miss two minutes into extra time to end the game after 96 enthralling minutes.

Farrell put England into an early lead after France's front row collapsed in a scrum but he hooked his next effort from the tee to the left.

France stunned the hosts in the 19th minute when fly-half Jalibert darted between Jamie George and Farrell before teeing up Dulin to cross on the left wing.

Jalibert added the extras and, after Elliot Daly split the posts from 46 metres, he sent through a pair of penalties to put Les Bleus up by a converted try.

England went extremely close to getting that before half-time, but France's defence held up impressively through 13 phases on the try line before Ellis Genge lost the ball forward.

The hosts upped the pressure following the restart and, after Farrell was successful with one of his next three penalty attempts, Carbonel added three points with a penalty.

Carbonel got another with the help of the upright but Farrell quickly replied and was then successful with the clock in the red after replacement Luke Cowan-Dickie span over from a driving maul.

Farrell had a chance to win the match in the second minute of extra time but his kick hit the right upright and bounced back across the face of the left post.

But after Maro Itoje won a penalty in the second additional period, Farrell made amends from wide on the left to secure the trophy for England.

Mick Schumacher will finally arrive in Formula One next year after agreeing a multi-year deal with Haas.

After a title win in Formula Three in 2018, Schumacher leads Formula Two this season and has earned a further promotion for 2021.

In making the leap to F1, Mick will follow in the footsteps of father Michael Schumacher, a seven-time champion.

The pair are far from the first family duo to dominate a sport, however.

Keke and Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg claimed his one and only F1 drivers' title in 2016 - a victory that marked a rare double in the sport. Father Keke clinched his own sole F1 crown driving for Williams in 1982.

Graham and Damon Hill

The Rosbergs joined Graham and Damon Hill as the only father-son duo to win the F1 title.

Graham, who died in a plane crash in 1975, won his two world titles with BRM and Lotus in the 1960s. Damon, meanwhile, completed the sport's first family double when he led Williams to the drivers' and constructors' championships in 1996.

Dale Earnhardt Sr and Jr

Dale Earnhardt Sr ranks among the greatest names in NASCAR history, sitting alongside Richard Petty and Jimmie Johnson on a record seven championship titles.

Dale Jr followed his father into NASCAR and was competing in the Daytona 500 on the day Dale Sr was killed in a crash in the same race. The younger Earnhardt, whose half-brother Kerry was also a driver, finished third in the 2003 series - his best result to date.

Dale Sr was himself the son of a racing driver - Ralph Earnhardt.

Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning

Archie Manning set a fine example for sons Peyton and Eli, making his name at quarterback for the New Orleans Saints following a college career with the Ole Miss Rebels.

Peyton and Eli have surpassed their father's achievements, scoring two Super Bowl wins apiece. The former is regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks in history, setting a league record for passing touchdowns (539) which Tom Brady and Drew Brees have each since topped.

Bobby and Barry Bonds

Three-time Gold Glove winner Bobby Bonds set a high bar for son Barry. Both enjoyed their greatest success with the San Francisco Giants, but Barry ultimately shone brightest.

The left fielder ended his career with eight Gold Glove Awards and 14 All-Star selections, having hit 762 home runs to earn a reputation as one of the all-time greats.

Peter and Kasper Schmeichel

Peter Schmeichel is regarded as one of the Premier League's greatest goalkeepers after winning five league titles, three FA Cups and the 1999 Champions League with Manchester United.

A tough act for Kasper to follow then, and he spent the bulk of his early career in the lower leagues, but he finally played his part in a story to rival any of his dad's successes when he helped Leicester City to a barely believable Premier League title in 2016.

Cesare, Paolo and Daniel Maldini

Between them, Cesare and Paolo Maldini won 11 Serie A titles and six European Cups with Milan, where the family name will be revered for eternity.

Each a former Rossoneri captain, the number three shirt that Paolo wore with distinction across 25 seasons at San Siro has been retired by Milan, who have vowed to only bring the number back into use if another Maldini family member makes the first team.

Indeed, Daniel, Paolo's son, is now in the first team but sports number 27 for now.

Andy and Owen Farrell

One the youngest player to ever win rugby league's Challenge Cup, the other the youngest player in English rugby union history when he made his debut.

Both Andy and Owen Farrell were 17 when they each entered the record books, with union star Farrell Jr - the England captain - well on the way to emulating his father's greatness in the 13-man code.

Regarded as one of union's best kickers, it is a Farrell family trait, given Andy's 3,000-plus points haul in 13 years with Wigan Warriors.

Muhammad and Laila Ali

The Greatest, Muhammad Ali remains the only three-time lineal heavyweight champion in history and his success in boxing is often transcended by his status as a role model for people across the world.

One of his nine children, Laila Ali followed her legendary father into the ring and enjoyed a fruitful career.

Retiring unbeaten in 24 fights, Laila was crowned WBC, WIBA, IWBF and IBA female super middleweight champion and IWBF light heavyweight champion in a fine eight-year spell in the sport.

England saw off Wales 24-13 in a scrappy Llanelli battle as Eddie Jones' men clinched top spot in Group A of the Autumn Nations Cup. 

Tries from Henry Slade and Mako Vunipola plus 14 points from the boot of captain Owen Farrell - who became the sixth man to kick 200 penalties in Test rugby - did the job for the visitors. 

There was little running rugby on view at Parc y Scarlets, where Wales showed dogged resistance at times, an improved showing for coach Wayne Pivac whose team halted a six-game losing streak with a shaky victory over Georgia in their previous outing. 

But England rode out the shock of conceding an early try against the run of play and were comfortable enough winners in the end.

Johnny Williams nudged Wales ahead on 10 minutes, with Dan Biggar kicking a loose ball through and Williams showing good football skills himself before grounding for the first points of the game. Leigh Halfpenny added the conversion. 

Slade got England on the board in the 15th minute, an easy run to the line in the left corner after the visitors moved the ball sharply through hands, but Farrell pulled his kick wide. 

Halfpenny then sent a 45-metre penalty a foot wide of the right post, missing out on points Wales could ill afford to let slip away. 

Farrell booted England into the lead for the first time after Wales flanker Shane Lewis-Hughes was punished for not releasing the ball. 

And England were kicking at almost every opportunity when in possession, but a combination of their erratic work and pressure from the Welsh was keeping it tight. Farrell added a second penalty to edge England into an 11-7 interval lead. 

The Welsh defence was impressing but they were bereft of an attacking threat and at times it looked like a damage-limitation exercise, with Vunipola plunging over from close range near to the posts for the second Red Rose try in the 51st minute. 

Farrell could hardly miss and duly stretched England's lead to 18-7, before a spell of Welsh pressure saw the hosts earn a pair of penalties that Biggar seized on to claim six easy points. 

A third Farrell penalty saw England to an eight-point cushion, after Wales knocked on, and he slotted a fourth in the 72nd minute to make sure. 

George Ford will start at fly-half when England face Wales in their final Autumn Nations Cup Group A match on Saturday.

Ford made his return from an Achilles injury off the bench in the 18-7 victory over Ireland at Twickenham last weekend, but will take the number 10 shirt at Parc y Scarlets.

Captain Owen Farrell shifts to inside centre, partnering Henry Slade after Ollie Lawrence was omitted from the squad due to a hip injury.

The England side is otherwise unchanged as Eddie Jones' men look to make it three wins out of three and seal top spot.

Luke Cowan-Dickie and Anthony Watson have been named on the bench after recovering injuries, while Ben Earl, Ellis Genge, Jonny Hill, Dan Robson, Will Stuart and Jack Willis are the other replacements.

Captain Alun Wyn Jones returns to the Wales starting line-up in Llanelli following the win over Georgia.

Under-fire head coach Wayne Pivac has made eight changes to his side, with Leigh Halfpenny replacing Liam Williams at full-back, Josh Adams starting on the wing and Lloyd Williams and Dan Biggar getting the nod as the half-back pairing.

 

England team: Elliot Daly, Jonathan Joseph, Henry Slade, Owen Farrell (captain), Jonny May, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Joe Launchbury, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Jonny Hill, Ben Earl, Jack Willis, Dan Robson, Anthony Watson.

Wales team: Leigh Halfpenny, Louis Rees-Zammit, Nick Tompkins, Johnny Williams, Josh Adams, Dan Biggar, Lloyd Williams; Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias, Samson Lee, Jake Ball, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Shane Lewis-Hughes, James Botham, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rhys Carre, Tomas Francis, Will Rowlands, Aaron Wainwright, Rhys Webb, Callum Sheedy, Owen Watkin.

Owen Farrell feels England are "just getting started" after they were crowned Six Nations champions on Saturday.

Ben Youngs marked his 100th cap with a double as the Red Rose secured a 34-5 bonus-point victory over Italy in Rome to give themselves a great chance of winning the title.

Ireland would have been guaranteed the trophy if they had beaten France by a margin of at least seven points in the final match of the tournament, but Les Bleus gave another demonstration of their huge potential in a 35-27 victory in Paris.

England finished level on points with France, but Eddie Jones' side won the competition for the first time in three years on points difference.

Farrell says there is more to come from England after they were able to celebrate almost a year to the day since they were beaten by South Africa in the Rugby World Cup final.

Asked if England have more to give, captain Farrell said on BBC One: "Massively, it feels like we're just getting started. There were four new caps today, someone who got their 100th cap in Ben Youngs and Jamie George who got his 50th.

"It feels like we've got a brilliant blend of experience and youth to drive us forward and being involved in training in the last few weeks has shown that to us and we're looking forward to what's in front of us as well."

Farrell paid tribute to wily head coach Jones after he masterminded the third Six Nations triumph of his reign.

He said of Jones: "He's been brilliant. the best thing I can say is we all love being here and being in camp and we all love working hard to improve and hopefully you see that when we get out on the field."

The England skipper also hailed Youngs on a special day for the scrum-half.

"I'm chuffed for him. It's a huge achievement reaching 100 caps, only the second person to do it for England, it's massive," said Farrell.

"To have such a good game, like he did, and to top it off with the trophy is brilliant."

England coach Eddie Jones has lauded Ben Youngs and Jamie George as the duo prepare to make landmark appearances against Italy.

Leicester Tigers scrum-half Youngs will become just the second player, after Jason Leonard, to make it to 100 appearances for England when he takes to the field against Italy in Rome on Saturday.

England are chasing a bonus-point victory to keep them in contention for the Six Nations title, with leaders Ireland - one point better off - taking on third-place France in Saturday's later match.

Youngs is not the only player to be reaching an England milestone, with hooker George set to win his 50th cap.

The duo have been made to wait over seven months, with England having last played against Wales in March, prior to the coronavirus outbreak causing the suspension of the championship.

"I can only speak with great admiration of Ben," said Jones in a news conference.

"He had a difficult World Cup in 2015 and since then has worked extremely hard on his game. At his best he's close to the best half-back in the world.

"He's got a great running game, a good kicking game and he's an important, infectious character in our squad."

Jones added of George: "It's a great achievement for Jamie to be winning his 50th cap.

"He had a long apprenticeship but he's now fully established as our starting hooker."

Owen Farrell will captain the side, which features seven changes from the one which defeated Wales 33-30, and the Saracens fly-half echoed Jones' sentiments in regards to his team-mate Youngs.

"Everybody knows how good a player Ben is," Farrell said. "Not only or what he’s doing in recent times but for how long he's been doing it.

"He was in the England team when I was coming through, at a very young age, and he stepped up to the plate very quickly and has obviously been doing it ever since.

"He's brilliant to play with, he's a great driver of energy throughout the team which is brilliant for a scrum-half. He sees space very well and gets the team on the front foot."

Eddie Jones has expressed delight at Manu Tuilagi's decision to stay in England and is not concerned that Owen Farrell will be playing in the Championship next season.

Tuilagi this week joined Sale Sharks on a deal until the end of next season after failing to agree terms to remain with Leicester Tigers.

The British and Irish Lion was linked with a move to France or a code swap, options which would have ended his England career.

Jones says the 29-year-old's switch to Sale is great news for the Rugby World Cup runners-up.

The England head coach said: "Manu made up his mind what he was going to do. We had a couple of phone calls, we kept in contact the whole time.

"I gave him a small piece of advice, but he knew what he wanted to do. He's a valuable Test player, his performance in the World Cup and Six Nations indicated there is still more in him and I'm delighted by his decision.

"It's obviously a difficult time for everyone at the moment and we are glad he's made that decision."

Farrell will not be on the move after committing his long-term future to Saracens, who are heading for the second tier due to persistent salary-cap breaches.

It was also revealed that Mako Vunipola, Elliot Daly and Jamie George will stay with Sarries this week and Jones says the European champions’ England contingent will be picked if they are performing well enough.

He said: "I'll be comfortable [picking Saracens players] if they're in good form. Players who have a track record of Test match success, I'll have a pretty good idea of where they are and where they need to be.

"My understanding is most of the younger guys at Saracens are moving to other clubs so they will not have the same issues that the older players have. 

"Without sounding too grandiose, if I look at Owen Farrell it doesn't matter what game he plays I've got a pretty good understanding of where he needs to be."

Owen Farrell has committed his long-term future to Saracens, signing a new deal with the Championship-bound club.

The England captain has been a pivotal part of Sarries' success since coming through the academy, helping them become a dominant force in the Premiership as well as enjoying success in Europe.

However, the three-time Champions Cup winners will be dropping into the second tier for 2020-21 after being punished for breaching salary-cap regulations.

Farrell is the latest big name to confirm he will be staying despite relegation, following on from England team-mates Elliot Daly, Mako Vunipola and Jamie George.

"The club means a lot to me," said Farrell, who toured with the British and Irish Lions in 2013 and 2017. "I've been here a long, long time now and to be sorted going forward is brilliant.

"Most of the senior players are in a similar position. They'd do anything to put us in the best position possible and that was telling during the tough times this year and I'm sure that will be the case going forward as well."

Director of rugby Mark McCall praised Farrell - who made his debut for Saracens in 2008 - for his "relentless" drive. No terms of the deal were disclosed.

"Owen has grown up at Saracens; from a teenager in our academy to a central figure in English rugby," McCall said.

"His drive to improve is relentless, pushing everyone in the organisation – players and staff – to be better every day. Quite simply, Saracens would not be the club it is without Owen.

"Off the field he is a grounded family man, who cares deeply about the club and the people here.

"We are delighted he has committed his long-term future to Saracens."

Saracens have asked high-earning players and staff members to defer part of their wages, confirming the club will take part in the British government's furlough scheme.

English rugby's Premiership season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and, with lockdown measures still in place across the country, there is no immediate sign of professional sport returning.

Wasps, Worcester and Gloucester have all reduced wages, and now Saracens – who will be relegated to the second tier for next season due to a breach of salary cap regulations – have announced a similar decision.

The current English and European champions also confirmed on Wednesday they would place a number of staff members on furlough. That is the government scheme that offers to pay 80 per cent of wages, up to £2,500 per month, in order to minimise the loss of jobs during the crisis.

Saracens have also requested that players and other members of staff who earn over £75,000 – likely to include England stars Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Jamie George and Elliot Daly – to defer the part of their salaries above that amount.

Saracens said the wages would be paid back over the course of an 18-month period from the start of the 2020-21 season.

"COVID-19 has had huge ramifications on every facet of society and rugby is no different, this is not an easy time for the players and the club alike," Itoje said.

"But in order to see this through, the whole organisation needs to pull together and do what we can for the future of Saracens and our individual careers within the sport."

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