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England vs Wales: Masterful George Ford can offer Six Nations X factor on Twickenham return

Maro Itoje v Dafydd Jenkins

Two locks alike in mixing brawn and brains, but set vastly apart in terms of experience. Saracens star Itoje will win his 78th England cap on Saturday, while Jenkins will be claiming his 14th.

That Wales’ 21-year-old Exeter lock is already Test captain speaks volumes on his rise and further promise.

Itoje has turned from young tyro into world-class pack totem, however, and knows exactly how to unsettle, then subdue, his direct opponents.

Fraser Dingwall v Nick Tompkins

Saracen Tompkins has developed into Wales’s all-court centre, mixing fine distribution with sufficient physicality to cut it in the Test arena.

Dingwall can do worse than look to Tompkins’s example as to how to add gainline success to a game based more on creativity and vision.

For far too long, England have failed to develop a No 12 that can thrive in covering all bases. Dingwall will hope to end that hiatus.

George Ford v Ioan Lloyd

Fly-half Ford pretty much already operates as an auxiliary backs coach. He does not even turn 31 until next month, yet already boasts the experience and nous to act at the level of a top-ranking coach.

He will be desperate to make the No10 shirt his own in the coming weeks, while Lloyd is earning just his fourth cap and is only a part-time 10. Has all the skills, but must add prudence to the attacking prowess.

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