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VIDEO - Haskell starts, Tuilagi on bench for Ireland trip

08 February 2013

  • James Haskell starts at blindside flanker with Tom Wood switching to No.8
  • Manu Tuilagi on the bench as Lancaster sticks with Twelvetrees and Barritt in midfield

James Haskell will start for England in Sunday’s RBS 6 Nations match against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

The London Wasp’s inclusion at blindside flanker, with Tom Wood moving across to No 8 in place of the injured Ben Morgan, is the only change from the starting line-up against Scotland at Twickenham Stadium last Saturday.

Leicester Tigers No.8 Thomas Waldrom comes on to the replacements’ bench in place of Haskell.

Head Coach Stuart Lancaster has resisted the temptation to bring back Leicester Tigers centre Manu Tuilagi, who is available after recovering from the ankle injury which kept him out of the Scotland victory. Billy Twelvetrees and Brad Barritt will continue their new partnership in midfield, with Tuilagi taking the place of David Strettle (Saracens) on the bench.

England back row James Haskell, who will start against Ireland in Dublin

Photo: Getty Images

Lancaster said a combination of Tuilagi’s lack of match fitness and the impressive performances of his midfield last time out swung the balance towards keeping the same backline.

He  said: “We were pleased with our intent to play against Scotland.

"A lot of the players performed very well and with Manu coming back into the equation it gave us some selection decisions. But with the centres playing well last week and Manu still returning to match fitness, having not played for the last four weeks, he and others will give us great options from the bench in what I am sure will be a physical encounter.

“It was good to have Billy Vunipola be able to train with us in the middle of the week but he needs some game time so he and David Strettle will be available for their clubs this weekend.”

Henry Thomas of Sale Sharks will travel as the 24th man tight head prop cover following this evening’s Aviva Premiership match against Exeter Chiefs.

England Team to face Ireland

15. Alex Goode (Saracens, 7 caps) 
14. Chris Ashton (Saracens, 30 caps) 
13. Brad Barritt (Saracens, 12 caps) 
12. Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby, 1 caps)
11. Mike Brown (Harlequins, 12 caps)
10. Owen Farrell (Saracens, 13 caps) 
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 29 caps)

1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 6 caps) 
2. Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 5 caps) 
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 36 caps) 
4. Joe Launchbury (London Wasps, 5 caps) 
5. Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers, 13 caps) 
6. James Haskell (London Wasps, 46 caps)
7. Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt, 13 caps) 
8. Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 10 caps)

16. Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 43 caps) 
17. David Wilson (Bath Rugby, 23 caps) 
18. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 5 caps) 
19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 16 caps)
20. Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers, 4 caps)
21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 38 caps)
22. Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers, 54 caps)
23. Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 17 caps)