Lancaster makes four changes

February 23, 2012
Rugby Union - Six Nations - Bet Now at Bet365

Head coach Stuart Lancaster has made four changes to the England line-up for Saturday's Six Nations clash with Wales.

Manu Tuilagi returns to the centres, while Geoff Parling, Ben Morgan and Lee Dickson make their first starts for England.

Owen Farrell is moved to fly-half after Charlie Hodgson was ruled out with a finger injury, with Toby Flood on the bench. Phil Dowson and Ben Youngs make way and are on the bench, while Tom Palmer was released from the squad earlier in the week.

Lancaster is looking forward to the first home game of the Six Nations campaign after getting two wins out of two games on the road. They are 6/4 to defeat Wales, who can be backed at 8/13.

He 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 and Ben 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."

He added: "It's our first home game of the RBS Six 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 are 9/2 to win the tournament, while Wales are available at 6/5.

England team to face Wales: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (capt) 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Alex Corbisiero.

Replacements: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Courtney Lawes, 19 Phil Dowson, 20 Ben Youngs, 21 Toby Flood, 22 Mike Brown.

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