Twelvetrees, Barritt, Haskell and Youngs all start for England in Ireland… (as Sportsmail predicted)
10:15 GMT, 8 February 2013
10:19 GMT, 8 February 2013
We called it first…
Sportsmail's Chris Foy once again predicted England's line up correctly earlier this week
England confirmed this morning James Haskell will make his first in the Six Nations for two years when Stuart Lancaster’s team face Ireland, on Sunday, in Dublin.
The 27-year-old, who took himself off to play in Japan and New Zealand following England’s disastrous 2011 Rugby World Cup, starts at blindside flanker following the injury to Ben Morgan in last Saturday’s win over Scotland.
Tom Wood moves across to cover for Morgan at No 8 in a starting team which is otherwise unchanged from the one which beat Scotland 38-18.
Starting role: Haskell is given the nod at blindside with Wood moving to No 8
ENGLAND (v Ireland, Dublin, Sunday, kick off 3pm):
Ashton (Saracens), Barritt (Saracens), Twelvetrees (Gloucester), Brown
(Harlequins); Farrell (Saracens), Ben Youngs (Leicester); Marler
(Harlequins), Tom Youngs (Leicester), Cole (Leicester), Launchbury
(Wasps), Parling (Leicester), Haskell (Wasps), Robshaw (Harlequins,
capt), Wood (Northampton).
Subs: Hartley (Northampton), Wilson (Bath), M Vunipola (Saracens), Lawes
(Northampton); Waldrom (Leicester), Care (Harlequins), Flood
(Leicester), Tuilagi (Leicester).
Haskell’s place on the bench from last week goes to Leicester’s Thomas Waldrom. Another new face among the reserves is centre Manu Tuilagi who takes over from David Strettle.
For head coach Lancaster, the biggest selection decision this week was whether to opt for fit-again Tuilagi over Billy Twelvetrees who had an impressive debut against Scotland.
But as predicted in Sportsmail this week he has opted to stay with the Gloucester player and Saracens’ Brad Barritt, leaving Tuilagi as an impact man to come off the bench. Lancaster has also decided to keep Tom Youngs at hooker ahead of Dylan Hartley.
For Haskell, who will be winning his 47th cap, it is vindication for his decision to return to England last spring and to rejoin his old club of Wasps.
Centre of attention: Barritt retains his place alongside Twelvetrees
His last start for England in the Six Nations came two years ago in the same game when Martin Johnson's team went to Dublin in search of a Grand Slam and lost.
Haskell, however, believes his world trip has made him a more ‘enriched person’ and spoke this week about a new mood in the England camp.
He said: ‘Running out to play for England is just as exciting as it ever was. I’ll keep playing for as long as they want me.’
Come in No 2: Tom Youngs starts ahead of Dylan Hartley at hooker
Lancaster said he had made some difficult decisions. He explained: ‘With Manu coming back into the equation it gave us some selection decisions. 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.'
England also announced that they would be taking 24 players to Ireland for Sunday’s match as Sale’s uncapped prop Henry Thomas will act as travelling reserve.