Jones salutes Saints skipper Wood as he gets set to hit England half-century

Saints skipper Tom Wood is set to make his 50th appearance for England on Saturday
Saints skipper Tom Wood is set to make his 50th appearance for England on Saturday

England boss Eddie Jones has hailed Tom Wood as the Saints skipper prepares to make his 50th appearance for his country.

Back row forward Wood has been named among the replacements for Saturday’s crucial Six Nations clash with Ireland in Dublin (kick-off 5pm).

If England win that game, they will not only claim their second successive Grand Slam, but also a record 19th Test victory in a row.

And Wood will be desperate to get on and play his part after becoming a key part of Jones’s squad since initially being overlooked.

“I congratulate Tom Wood on his personal milestone,” said Jones, who took over as England boss in January 2016.

“He is a committed team man, who has fought his way back into this set-up and has been a great contributor to the team on and off the field.

“He works very hard and it’s a great reward for him.”

Saints hooker Dylan Hartley will again captain England at the Aviva Stadium, with lock Courtney Lawes also in the starting 15 for the Six Nations champions.

Meanwhile, two other Saints stars will square up in Paris on Saturday.

Louis Picamoles has been named in the France team to face George North’s Wales at 2.45pm.

England team to face Ireland: Brown; Watson, Joseph, Farrell, Daly; Ford, Youngs; Marler, Hartley (c), Cole; Launchbury, Lawes; Itoje, Haskell, B Vunipola.

Replacements: George, M Vunipola, Sinckler, Wood, Hughes, Care, Te’o, Nowell.