England set to name Immanuel Feyi-Waboso to start on the wing vs Ireland

Six Nations: Fit-again scrumhalf Alex Mitchell and backrow George Martin also set to start as Marcus Smith could return to the bench

Immanuel Feyi-Waboso is poised for a first England start against Ireland on Saturday, capping a meteoric rise after turning out for Taunton Titans less than 12 months ago.

It is understood that Steve Borthwick is also primed to select the fit-again scrumhalf Alex Mitchell and George Martin for Saturday’s daunting Six Nations clash while Marcus Smith is expected to return to the matchday 23 as a replacement with George Ford keeping his place at outhalf.

Feyi-Waboso, 21, has caught the eye in his two appearances from the bench to date and is in line for a first start on the left wing. Barring a late change of heart, Elliot Daly is set to drop out of the side with Feyi-Waboso, who was at the centre of a tug-of-war between England and Wales before the Six Nations, expected to get the nod.

The Exeter winger missed last week’s training camp in York in order to sit a medical exam but he was singled out for praise for his try-scoring cameo in defeat by Scotland by Gregor Townsend. Feyi-Waboso arrived at Exeter after Wasps went into administration but only started playing regularly for the Chiefs at the start of the season, having spent time on loan at Taunton.


Borthwick is due to announce his team on Thursday and Mitchell’s expected return is a significant boost. The Northampton scrumhalf overcame an infected leg wound to start against Italy and Wales before sustaining a knee injury and there were fears he could miss the remainder of the competition. He missed the defeat by Scotland but is ready to come straight back into the side and rekindle his halfback partnership with Ford.

Smith is another who is fit again after missing all of England’s three matches to date with a calf injury sustained a few days before their tournament opener against Italy. Borthwick will have considered starting him but Smith has not featured at all since Harlequins’ Champions Cup victory over Ulster on 20 January. Fin Smith, who has performed back-up duties at outhalf so far this championship, has been unable to train since last week.

Martin’s expected inclusion is also set to provide England with a boost after he impressed from the bench against Scotland – one fumbled restart aside. He would add considerable power to the forward pack and is in line for a first England start since his stunning performance in the World Cup semi-final defeat by South Africa. Ethan Roots is expected to drop out of the side to make way for Martin.

- Guardian