Wales and England survey their options
August 11, 2011
Gavin Henson has been handed another chance to impress against England on Saturday © Getty Images
Wales and England have both opted to ring the changes for their second Rugby World Cup warm-up clash at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday.
Gavin Henson returns to the Wales line-up at the expense of Jonathan Davies in one of four changes from the side which lost 23-19 at Twickenham last weekend. Davies drops out of the squad while James Hook replaces the injured Morgan Stoddart at fullback.
In the pack, Lloyd Burns is handed a start at hooker instead of Huw Bennett with first-choice No.2 Matthew Rees still out injured. In the only other change, Luke Charteris will look to stake his claim after getting to nod in the second row in the place of Bradley Davies.
Rhys Priestland retains the playmaking duties having stood in for Stephen Jones after the latter was injured in the warm-up last time out. Try scoring duo Shane Williams and George North keep their place on the wings. Ryan Jones loses his place on the bench after picking up a calf problem which means Scarlets back-row Josh Turnbull and uncapped Ospreys flanker Justin Tipuric could both be handed chances to stake a claim for RWC selection.
Veteran centre Mike Tindall will lead England with usual skipper Lewis Moody ruled out of the game having strained his knee ligament last weekend. Tindall partners Shontayne Hape in midfield while Toby Flood reclaims the No.10 shirt where he will partner Richard Wigglesworth.
Nick Easter, Tom Wood and Hendrie Fourie form a new-look back row with Alex Corbisiero, Steve Thompson and Dan Cole set to pack down in the front row. Lock Courtney Lawes has recovered from the neck injury he sustained in a recent trial match and partners Louis Deacon in the second row.
Wales: James Hook; George North, Jamie Roberts, Gavin Henson, Shane Williams; Rhys Priestland, Mike Phillips; Paul James, Lloyd Burns, Craig Mitchell, Luke Charteris, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton (captain), Toby Faletau
Replacements: Huw Bennett, Ryan Bevington, Josh Turnbull, Justin Tipuric, Tavis Knoyle, Scott Williams, Aled Brew
England: Ben Foden; Chris Ashton; Mike Tindall (captain), Shontayne Hape, Mark Cueto; Toby Flood, Richard Wigglesworth; Alex Corbisiero, Steve Thompson, Dan Cole, Louis Deacon, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood, Hendre Fourie, Nick Easter
Replacements: Lee Mears, Matt Stevens, Tom Palmer, James Haskell, Danny Care, Charlie Hodgson, Matt Banahan
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Simon McDowell (Ireland)
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