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VIDEO EXCLUSIVE - Lancaster talks through five key selections

07 November 2013

  • Watch England's head coach explain five pivotal selections in his side to face Argentina
  • Lancaster pinpoints the qualities of Wilson, Twelvetrees and Tomkins, Hartley, Marler and Ashton

Before publicly announcing his England team to face Argentina in the second QBE International at Twickenham on Saturday, Stuart Lancaster sat down with RFUtv to talk through five of his key selections. Soon after Marland Yarde withdrew with a hip injury with Ben Foden coming in on the left wing and Alex Goode being called up to the bench.

Lancaster on Chris Ashton (Saracens wing, 35 caps)

England's Chris Ashton

Photo: Getty Images

Christian Wade was close, very close. We trained with him on Tuesday and he trained really well. But just as we were moving towards the final decision and in the last play of the training session, he bent down to pick a ball up and his hamstring tightened. A player like Christian needs to be 100 per cent both mentally and physically. Obviously he has to be confident that his body is right and his body needs to be right to play at this level. So he just misses out and as a consequence Chris Ashton gets an opportunity to play again on the right wing. I am sure he will have plenty to prove and will have been disappointed that we were leaning that way. But equally now he has an opportunity to improve on his performance last week. It was not all bad by any stretch of the imagination but he was disappointed and it is a big chance for him now.

He has been brilliant in the last couple of days. He took on board the feedback from the previous game – he was disappointed in one or two areas – but attitude has been outstanding. I have never had a problem with his attitude. He is now delighted to be back in the mix and getting an opportunity.

Lancaster on David Wilson (Bath tight-head prop, 29 caps)

England's David Wilson

Photo: Getty Images

I think it started in Argentina really for Davey. He did not get that much game time in the Six Nations but he had a good run of games leading up to the Argentina Tour and he was excellent out there. His scrimmaging was fantastic and his ball carrying and his defensive work was much improved as well. So that gave him a boost and he went back to Bath and worked with a very strong front-row there and adapted well to the new scrimmaging laws. I think it is a case of him deserving his opportunity. Clearly we have Dan Cole on the bench and he will play a big part in the game. The modern game now requires two quality tight heads and we are fortunate enough to have that. You have to create that depth and that competition for places. Dan will be disappointed but it is all to play for for the following game. Dan will get good game time in the second half I am sure, but Davey deserves his start.

Lancaster on Dylan Hartley (Northampton hooker, 48 caps)

England's Dylan Hartley

Photo: Getty Images

The first thing he did (after missing the British & Irish Lions Tour) was get his head down and do his job well at Northampton. That is all a player can do. He played well in a good Northampton team and captained the side well. I think he learned a lot of lessons over the summer – tough lessons – but his form has been excellent. Obviously Tom Youngs has had a lot going on behind the scenes as well but equally Dylan deserves his opportunity.

Lancaster on Joe Marler (Harlequins loose-head prop, 13 caps)

England's Joe Marler

Photo: Getty Images

I think Joe deserves his place on merit. On the performance he put in last weekend, the performances he has put in for Harlequins recently and what he did in Argentina recently. We are very lucky to have those three loose heads. Alex Corbisiero only trained for the first time on Tuesday and he only trained one session so it would have been a big step to put him straight in. We more than trust Joe and I am sure Alex coming off the bench, with the likes of Dan Cole and Tom Youngs, will be handy for us.

Lancaster on Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester centre, 6 caps) and Joel Tomkins (Saracens centre, 1 caps)

England's Billy Twelvetrees and Joel Tomkins

Photo: Getty Images

They deserve another chance together. Billy Twelvetrees has been great for us in the game that he has played. He went away with the British Lions and learned from that. He was disappointed with one or two areas of his game but I have tried to tell him that it was not all bad by any stretch of the imagination. He is a proven player in our set-up and deserves a second chance. Joel Tomkins made a great start. It is tough to make your debut at Twickenham against Australia and I thought his temperament shone through so it was relatively easy.