Wilson gets the nod for England

February 20, 2014
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England coach Stuart Lancaster has drafted in Bath prop David Wilson as injured Dan Cole's replacement for Saturday's Six Nations clash against Ireland.

Cole was ruled out for the remainder of the season because he needs three months rest having suffered a neck injury which has left him with a bulging disc that is trapping a nerve.

The Leicester Tigers man, who was a member of the British and Irish Lions' front row in Australia last summer, is also set to miss England's summer tour to New Zealand because of the injury.

However it paves the way clear for 28-year-old Wilson, who returned from a two-month injury lay-off with a 47-minute run-out in Bath's 27-23 Aviva Premiership victory over Exeter last Saturday, to fill the void.

Meanwhile uncapped 20-year-old Bath fly-half George Ford has also been named on the bench as cover for first-choice Owen Farrell following his excellent club form so far this season.

"We have been forced into one change and we wish Dan Cole all the best for his recovery," Lancaster said.

"However, David Wilson is an experienced international with 31 caps and he showed in his three starts against Argentina last year what he can do.

"It's great to have George involved. He has settled in well and we are confident in his ability should he get his opportunity from the bench."

England are looking to end Ireland's Grand Slam aspirations at Twickenham and secure a fourth straight win against them in what is the first home game of this year's tournament for Lancaster's men following an opening defeat in France and a comfortable victory in Scotland respectively.

"We are excited about being back at our home after two games on the road," Lancaster added.

"The Twickenham crowd during the November internationals was superb and I'm sure it'll be the same again on Saturday."

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