England have named their starting XV and replacements to face Wales at Twickenham in round three of the RBS 6 Nations 2012.
England and Wales face off on Saturday evening with both teams having won two from two matches – one team will come out of the match knowing that a Grand Slam is still on the cards for this season.
The English management have named four changes from the side which narrowly overcame Italy in Rome a fortnight ago.
Half back Lee Dixon and number eight, Ben Morgan, are both rewarded for their replacement impact in Rome with starting berths, at the expense of Ben Youngs and Phil Dowson respectively who move to the replacements bench.
It is a first start for both players, who will be among a trio making their first ever starting appearance for England, as Geoff Parling of the Leicester Tigers also comes into the starting XV for England, at lock.
Owen Farrell – who kicked so well against Italy – will move to 10 in place of Charlie Hodgson who has not recovered form a finger injury. Powerful centre, Manusamoa Tuilagi of Leicester comes in to the 13 position as the final change for England’s starting team.
Courtney Lawes and Toby Flood have been drafted in to the replacements bench for the first time this tournament, to provide backup.
England Head Coach, Stuart Lancaster, told of the selection:
“It’s been a good start with two wins but we’ve got real competition for places and Lee, Ben and Geoff deserve an opportunity to start this game. It means that Phil (Dowson) and Ben (Youngs) will provide a different role from the bench and it’s great to have Courtney and Toby, who can also give us options in what I am sure will be a full-on encounter.”
“Charlie cut his finger in training earlier in the week and needed stitches but it swelled up and there is a sprain there. We assessed him this morning and he cannot grip fully. Owen has trained throughout and knows our patterns and plays so we are fully confident in his ability to run the game from 10 and we are looking forward to seeing how Brad and Manu gel together in the centre.”
“It’s our first home game of the RBS 6 Nations which we are really excited about and we are sure the crowd will get behind us just as the travelling supporters have done in Scotland and Italy. Playing at Twickenham makes it extra special for us and I know we will get all the encouragement we need.”
England’s squad to face Wales is as follows.
England Starting XV to Face Wales, RBS 6 Nations 2012
- 15 Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
- 14 Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
- 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
- 12 Brad Barritt (Saracens)
- 11 David Strettle (Saracens)
- 10 Owen Farrell (Saracens)
- 9 Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
- 1 Alex Corbisiero (London Irish)
- 2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
- 3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
- 4 Mouritz Botha (Saracens)
- 5 Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)
- 6 Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers)
- 7 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt)
- 8 Ben Morgan (Scarlets)
- 16 Rob Webber (London Wasps)
- 17 Matt Stevens (Saracens)
- 18 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
- 19 Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints)
- 20 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
- 21 Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
- 22 Mike Brown (Harlequins)
England v Wales will kick-off at 16:00 GMT (17:00 CET) at Twickenham Stadium, London, England, on Saturday 25th February 2012.