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VIDEO - Manu in as Lancaster makes four changes

23 February 2012

  • Parling, Dickson, Morgan and Tuilagi brought into starting lineup
  • Farrell moves to 10 in place of injured Hodgson, while Lawes and Flood start from the bench

England today made four personnel changes to their starting line-up for Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations match against Wales at Twickenham Stadium.

Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Ben Morgan (Scarlets) and Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers) will all start their first Tests at the home of English rugby after coming off the bench against Scotland and Italy.

In addition, Owen Farrell will move to No 10 in place of Charlie Hodgson, who has not recovered from an injury to his left index finger, with Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers) coming in to the centre to partner Brad Barritt (Saracens).

Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints) and Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers) make their first appearances of the campaign on the bench.

Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: "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 [Lawes] and Toby [Flood], 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 team to face Wales

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)
Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
1 Alex Corbisiero (London Irish)
2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
4 Mouritz Botha (Saracens)
Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)
6 Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers)
7 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt)
Ben Morgan (Scarlets)

Replacements

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)