TOP BAR - Fixtures

England team to play Wales

England team to play Wales

England recall four British & Irish Lions for Friday’s RBS 6 Nations opener against Wales at the Millennium Stadium (8.05pm, BBC 1).

Dan Cole starts at tight-head prop while Leicester Tigers team-mates Tom Youngs and Tom Croft, as well as Mako Vunipola (Saracens), are included among the replacements.
Cole takes over from David Wilson (Bath Rugby) in a pack showing four changes from the one that started the QBE International against Australia, with lock George Kruis (Saracens) in for Courtney Lawes, James Haskell
(Wasps) replacing Tom Wood (Northampton Saints) at blind side flanker and Billy Vunipola (Saracens) taking over from Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby) at No 8.
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby) and Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints) form the centre partnership in the only changes to the backs.
England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: “We’ve had to make some tight calls but we are excited about the side selected for what will be big challenge.
“JJ has been one of the form centres in the country; he and Luther have trained well together and this is a big opportunity for both of them. Billy Vunipola has also been playing well for Saracens and it’s good to be able to give George Kruis his first international start after his impressive run off the bench in November.  
“Dan Cole and James Haskell bring a lot of experience, as do the bench, and their contribution will be crucial on Friday night.”
England
15. Mike Brown (Harlequins, 33 caps)
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 4 caps)
13. Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 6 caps)
12. Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints, 7 caps)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 11 caps)
10. George Ford (Bath Rugby, 6 caps)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 42 caps)
1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 26 caps)
2. Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 61 caps)
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 45 caps)
4. Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby, 16 caps)
5. George Kruis (Saracens, 4 caps)
6. James Haskell (Wasps, 53 caps)
7. Chris Robshaw (captain, Harlequins, 32 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 12 caps)
Replacements
16. Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 17 caps)
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 15 caps)
18. Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons, 6 caps)
19. Nick Easter (Harlequins, 47 caps)
20. Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers, 38 caps)
21. Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens, 16 caps)
22. Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks, 9 caps)
23. Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby, 16 caps)

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