Six Nations 2014: England make two changes ahead of Ireland match
Six Nations 2014: Stuart Lancaster brings David Wilson into his England XV for the match against Ireland
England have made two changes to their match-day squad for Saturday’s Six Nations match against Ireland.
Bath tight-head prop David Wilson replaces Leicester Tigers’ Dan Cole, who is out for the rest of the season with a neck problem, while 20-year-old Bath outside-half George Ford is brought on to the bench in place of Saracens centre Brad Barritt.
David Wilson is an experienced international with 31 caps and he showed in his three starts against Argentina last year what he can do
England head coach Stuart Lancaster made no surprise changes to a squad which narrowly lost in the opening game against France, but whitewashed Scotland 20-0 in their last outing at Murrayfield.
Despite relative inexperience in the backs, Lancaster has kept faith with a developing group ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup in England.
“We are excited about being back at our home after two games on the road. The Twickenham crowd during the November internationals was superb and I’m sure it’ll be the same again on Saturday,” Lancaster said.
“We have been forced into one change and we wish Dan Cole all the best for his recvery. 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.”
Ireland arrive at Twickenham unbeaten from their opening encounters with Scotland and Wales with one eye on a possible Grand Slam after a bruising win over Warren Gatland’s reigning champions in Dublin.
Notable concern for Lancaster will be the lack of game time Wilson has faced on his comeback from injury. The 28-year-old has played just 47 minutes of rugby in the last two months against Exeter Chiefs on Saturday.
England: Mike Brown; Jack Nowell, Luther Burrell, Billy Twelvetrees, Jonny May; Owen Farrell, Danny Care; Joe Marler, Dylan Hartley, David Wilson, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood, Chris Robshaw (captain), Billy Vunipola.
Replacements: Tom Youngs, Mako Vunipola, Henry Thomas, David Attwood, Ben Morgan; Lee Dickson, George Ford, Alex Goode.