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Tuilagi back as England change

Thu, 21 Feb 2013 11:05
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It is sure to be a great challenge
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England coach Stuart Lancaster has made three changes to his team to face France in their Six Nation crunch encounter at Twickenham on Saturday.

Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Manusamoa Tuilagi have all been named in the starting line-up.

Northampton Saints’ Hartley and Lawes replace Tom Youngs and James Haskell, who move to the bench, while Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers) takes over from Billy Twelvetrees, with the Gloucester centre also among the replacements.

Lancaster said he thought "long and hard" about changing a winning team which did so well against Ireland.

"However, we believe that Dylan, Courtney and Manu are ready for the opportunity and allow us to vary our play, while the bench will add impact and energy as the game unfolds in the second half," the England mentor said.

"The players are really looking forward to getting back to Twickenham; the atmosphere in the stadium is fantastic and hopefully the crowd can get behind us in what is sure to be a great challenge against a motivated and physical French team."

England: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Mike Brown, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Tom Wood, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 David Wilson, 18 Mako Vunipola, 19 James Haskell, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 Danny Care, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Billy Twelvetrees.

Date: Saturday, February 23
Venue: Twickenham Stadium, London
Kick-off: 17.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Leighton Hodges (Wales)
TMO: Jim Yuille (Scotland)

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