England's Morgan released to Scarlets
February 29, 2012
Ben Morgan is available for the Scarlets this weekend © Getty Images
England have made 18 players available to their clubs ahead of the forthcoming weekend of Aviva Premiership action.
Among the 18 released, just one started against Wales last weekend - Scarlets No.8 Ben Morgan. He will return to his RaboDirect PRO12 side while the Leicester Tigers will be bolstered by the returns of Ben Youngs, Toby Flood and Thomas Waldrom.
Elsewhere, Premiership leaders Harlequins will welcome back Mike Brown - a second-half substitute for England against Wales - Joe Marler and Jordan Turner-Hall. Their Midlands rivals Northampton have Courtney Lawes, Phil Dowson and Paul Doran-Jones returning to their ranks. Lawes may not feature, however, after undergoing a scan on a shin injury on Wednesday afternoon.
Interim boss Stuart Lancaster has been pleased with England's training this week - at unfamiliar venue Loughborough University - and claims Morgan's release was due to an International Rugby Board regulation.
"It's been a good few days with a change of venue and an opportunity to review the Wales game and build on the positives as well as learn some lessons," Lancaster said. "The players have been very focused in training and their response after Saturday has been excellent.
"We are going to release 18 players to get some game time for their clubs on which should be a very competitive weekend. Our intention was to retain the starting 15 from Wales for training tomorrow but under IRB Regulation 9 Scarlets haves a requested Ben Morgan so he will be returning to play for them on Friday."
The released players: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Calum Clark (Northampton Saints), Paul Doran Jones (Northampton Saints), Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Charlie Hodgson (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Lee Mears (Bath Rugby), Ben Morgan (Scarlets), Tom Palmer (Stade Francais), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby), Joe Simpson (London Wasps), Matt Stevens (Saracens), Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers), Rob Webber (London Wasps), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league