England stick with winning formula
February 5, 2013
Billy Vunipola could make his debut against Ireland on Sunday © PA Photos
England coach Stuart Lancaster has included centre trio Brad Barritt, Billy Twelvetrees and Manu Tuilagi in their 25-man training squad ahead of Sunday's clash with Ireland.
Lancaster faces the headache of trying to work out whether to start Tuilagi in Dublin after the Leicester centre sat out Saturday's win over Scotland. Twelvetrees, who was making his debut, crossed the tryline and worked well in tandem with Saracens' Barritt and the England boss has given nothing away about which way he is leaning regarding selection with all three retained in the squad.
England assistant coach Mike Catt said earlier on Tuesday regarding selection in the centres: "It is always difficult but it is a great headache to have. From a team point of view you have three guys and each of them bring special attributes. It is great Billy has come along and performed the way he did against Scotland on his debut.
"Manu has been out of the game for three or four weeks. We will see how they all train and we will go accordingly from there. If the guys have performed exceptionally well on the weekend, the guys coming in need to make sure they have the tempo and up the intensity to really put their hands forward. That is what we want on Tuesday."
And with Gloucester's Ben Morgan an injury doubt ahead of Sunday's clash, Lancaster has kept him in the mix but has included Leicester's Thomas Waldrom and Wasps' Billy Vunipola in the 25-man party. But while they are retained, for the second weekend running, as things stand, Northampton's Ben Foden will not be on international duty.
There is also no place in the squad for Saracens duo Will Fraser and Mouritz Botha, Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns, London Irish's Jonathan Joseph, Worcester No.8 Matt Kvesic or Northampton's Lee Dickson.
England squad: Chris Ashton (Saracens), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Alex Goode (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (London Wasps), Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), David Strettle (Saracens), Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby), Billy Vunipola (London Wasps), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby) will stay in camp for ongoing treatment on an ankle injury.
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