Six Nations

Farrell starts at flyhalf

2012-02-23 12:39
Stuart Lancaster (Gallo)

London - England interim coach Stuart Lancaster moved 20-year-old Owen Farrell to flyhalf in one of four changes to his starting side to play Wales in a Six Nations international at Twickenham on Saturday.

A cut finger has sidelined Farrell's Saracens team-mate Charlie Hodgson, England's flyhalf in their opening two matches.

Farrell, who has played at flyhalf for English champions Saracens, moves across to No 10 with the powerful Manu Tuilagi, who hasn't featured for England since the World Cup because of a hamstring injury, back at inside centre where he will line-up against a physical Welsh back division.

Leicester lock Geoff Parling was handed his first Test start in place of Tom Palmer, dropped after England failed to secure enough quality lineout ball in a 19-15 win away to Italy last time out.

Two other players will also be making their first Test starts at Twickenham.

Back-row Ben Morgan is in at No 8 after impressing off the bench in place of Phil Dowson while scrumhalf Lee Dickson, who injected some much needed urgency when coming on in Rome, takes over from Ben Youngs in the 1st XV.

Lancaster resisted the temptation to recall fly-half Toby Flood following a knee injury although the Leicester playmaker is on the bench.

Also on the bench is second-row forward Courtney Lawes, fit following a knee problem.

England have won away to both Scotland and Italy in their opening two Six Nations matches but have managed just a solitary try in each game, Hodgson charging down for scores at Murrayfield and the Olympic Stadium.

But World Cup semi-finalists Wales are currently top of the table, having run in six tries in all during the course of wins over Ireland and Scotland.

Wales are expected to provide Lancaster, appointed on a caretaker basis following Martin Johnson's post World Cup resignation, with his toughest test to date even though they've won just once at Twickenham since 1988.

England team to play Wales in a Six Mations international at Twickenham on Saturday (18:00 kick-off):


England: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Alex Corbisiero.

Substitutes: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Courtney Lawes, 19 Phil Dowson, 20 Ben Youngs, 21 Toby Flood, 22 Mike Brown.

Wales:15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Michael Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 Danny Lydiate, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Gethin Jenkins.

Substitutes: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Paul James, 18 Ryan Jones, 19 Justin Tipuric, 20 Lloyd Williams, 21 Stephen Jones, 22 Scott Williams.

Read more on:    stuart lancaster  |  owen farrell

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