Six Nations 2015: Mike Brown and Courtney Lawes back for England
Stuart Lancaster makes two changes to his starting XV for the Calcutta Cup match against Scotland on Saturday
Stuart Lancaster has recalled full-back Mike Brown and lock Courtney Lawes for England’s RBS 6 Nations clash with Scotland on Saturday.
The England head coach has made just two changes to his starting XV from the side that lost 19-9 to Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on 1 March.
Coming back to Twickenham will be huge for us, and we are determined to put in a performance against a strong and motivated Scotland team.
Stuart Lancaster on facing Scotland at HQ
Lancaster has resisted the urge to experiment with further changes for the Calcutta Cup clash, with Scotland odds-on for the wooden spoon after losing their first three matches in this year’s championship.
Brown (pictured above) has recovered from the concussion he sustained in England’s 47-17 win over Italy in February to take back his jersey from Alex Goode, who deputised in Dublin.
Goode’s Saracens colleague George Kruis also drops out of the match-day 23 to make way for Lawes, who has recovered from an ankle injury that ruled him out of the opening three rounds of the championship.
“It’s been an intense two weeks of training as everyone wants to be on that field on Saturday to put things right after Dublin, and we have had to make some tough selection calls,” Lancaster said.
“Coming back to Twickenham will be huge for us, and we are determined to put in a performance against a strong and motivated Scotland team.”
Leicester Tigers lock Geoff Parling, who started in England’s win over Wales in round one, returns to the bench, along with Northampton Saints back-row forward Tom Wood, with the duo impressing for their respective Aviva Premiership clubs in recent weeks.
Their inclusion comes at the expense of Leicester Tigers flanker Tom Croft, who was ruled out of the tournament with a shoulder problem, and Harlequins veteran Nick Easter.
With Bath tighthead prop Henry Thomas also ruled out of the tournament, his place on the bench is taken by fit-again Newcastle Falcons prop Kieran Brookes, who has overcome a hip flexor problem.
“There’s always a lot of competition for places and having experienced players like Courtney, Tom and Geoff available after playing well for their clubs in the last few weeks adds to our options,” Lancaster added.
Scotland head coach Vern Cotter names his side on Thursday afternoon.
England: Mike Brown (Harlequins); Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs); George Ford (Bath Rugby), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers); Joe Marler (Harlequins), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), David Attwood (Bath Rugby), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, captain), Billy Vunipola (Saracens).
Replacements: Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints); Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens), Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby).