Lancaster opts for Twelvetrees

Fri, 08 Feb 2013 11:20
Large billytwelvetreesenglandtraining4 Large james haskell eng training Large manu tuilagi eng runs 630

Billy Twelvetrees has retained his place in the England side that will face Ireland in the Six Nations in Dublin on Sunday after seeing off a challenge from Manu Tuilagi.

Billy Twelvetrees has retained his place in the England side that will face Ireland in the Six Nations in Dublin on Sunday after seeing off a challenge from Manu Tuilagi.

The only change to the team that started the tournament-opening 38-18 win over Scotland last week was the return of James Haskell at blindside flank in a back row that had to be revamped by England head coach Stuart Lancaster after No.8 Ben Morgan suffered an ankle injury at Twickenham.

Gloucester centre Twelvetrees made a try-scoring Test debut last Saturday after replacing the then-injured Tuilagi, who missed the Calcutta Cup clash with an ankle problem.

But with Tuilagi now fit and England's 2003 World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward among those saying he should start against Ireland, there was intense speculation about how Lancaster would resolve his midfield conundrum.

Friday saw Lancaster stand by the ball-playing Twelvetrees and defensive rock Brad Barritt as his starting centre combination, with the powerful Tuilagi poised to make an impact off the bench.

For Haskell, Sunday's match will be his first Six Nations start in nearly two years, with Tom Morgan moving across the back row to take Morgan's place at No 8 and England captain Chris Robshaw still at openside flank.

Haskell's last Six Nations start was also in Dublin, when England won the title but saw their 2011 Grand Slam ambitions obliterated with a 24-8 defeat by Ireland at Lansdowne Road.

The 27-year-old missed last season's Championship in order to play club rugby in Japan but has since returned to Premiership side Wasps and re-established himself in the England set-up.

Ireland, who also started this Six Nations with a victory by beating defending Grand Slam champions Wales 30-22 in Cardiff last week, were due to announce their side later on Friday.

England have not won a Six Nations match in Dublin since 2003, which was also the last year they completed a Grand Slam.
 
England: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Brad Barritt, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Mike Brown, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Tom Wood, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 James Haskell, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 David Wilson, 18 Mako Vunipola, 19 Courtney Lawes 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 Danny Care, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Manu Tuilagi.

Date: Sunday, February 10
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Referee: Jérôme Garces (France)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Pascal Gauzere (France)
TMO: Iain Ramage (Scotland)

AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Mon, 08 February 2016
Wits v TUT 16h30 Johannesburg
UWC v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
Maties v CUT-Ixias 16h30 Stellenbosch
UJ v NMMU-Madibaz 16h30 Johannesburg
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 17h00 Cape Town
Fri, 12 February 2016
Treviso v Cardiff Blues 22h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Zebre 22h00 RDS Arena
Sat, 13 February 2016
France v Ireland 14h25 Paris
Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Saracens v Wasps 15h00 Allianz Park
Worcester Warriors v Bath 15h00 Sixways
Northampton Saints v London Irish 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Wales v Scotland 16h50 Cardiff
Sun, 14 February 2016
Italy v England 14h00 Rome
Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers 16h00 Kingston Park
Mon, 15 February 2016
NMMU-Madibaz v Maties 14h45 Port Elizabeth
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 08 February 2016
UP-Tuks v NWU-Pukke 15 | 38
Sun, 07 February 2016
Ireland v Wales 16 | 16
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 11 | 14
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 20 | 13
Sat, 06 February 2016
Scotland v England 9 | 15
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 3 | 10
France v Italy 23 | 21
Harlequins v Northampton Saints 23 | 27
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons 9 | 8
Fri, 05 February 2016
Bath v Gloucester 11 | 15
Ulster v Dragons 17 | 15
Mon, 01 February 2016
Fort Hare v UWC 8 | 15
UKZN-Impi v Wits 26 | 18
Sun, 31 January 2016
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 26 | 19
Worcester Warriors v Exeter Chiefs 15 | 30
SIX NATIONS
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Team P W D L Pts
England 1 1 0 0 2
France 1 1 0 0 2
Ireland 1 0 1 0 1
Wales 1 0 1 0 1
Italy 1 0 0 1 0
Scotland 1 0 0 1 0