Six Nations 2013: Haskell returns but Tuilagi on the bench for England
Six Nations 2013: Stuart Lancaster brings James Haskell into his starting XV but Manu Tuilagi only returns to the bench
James Haskell’s return to the starting line-up is England sole change for their trip to Dublin as Stuart Lancaster keeps faith with the side that disposed of Scotland in their Six Nations opener.
That means that fit-again Manu Tuilagi has to settle for a place on the bench as Billy Twelvetrees and Brad Barritt continue their centre pairing.
Ben Morgan’s ankle injury sees Haskell comes in at blindside flanker with Northampton’s Tom Wood shifting across to No8 and Thomas Waldrom coming onto the bench.
Haskell starts his first game in the Red Rose jersey since England’s summer tour to South Africa while Tom Youngs continues at hooker despite heavy pressure from Dylan Hartley.
The return of Tuilagi means there is no place on the bench for David Strettle however while Sale prop Henry Thomas will travel with the squad as the 24th man tight head prop cover.
“We were pleased with our intent to play against Scotland. A lot of the players performed very well and with Manu coming back into the equation it gave us some selection decisions,” said Lancaster.
“But with the centres playing well last week and Manu still returning to match fitness, having not played for the last four weeks, he and others will give us great options from the bench in what I am sure will be a physical encounter.
“It was good to have Billy Vunipola be able to train with us in the middle of the week but he needs some game time so he and David Strettle will be available for their clubs this weekend.”
England: Goode; Ashton, Barritt, Twelvetrees, Brown; Farrell, B Youngs; Marler, T Youngs, Cole, Launchbury, Parling, Haskell, Robshaw, Wood.
Replacements: Hartley, Wilson, Vunipola, Lawes, Waldrom, Care, Flood, Tuilagi.