Dallaglio on bench for England

Lawrence Dallaglio has been named amongst the replacements for England's RBS 6 Nations clash with Wales - exactly 17 months after he retired from international rugby. [more]

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Lawrence Dallaglio has been named amongst the replacements for England’s RBS 6 Nations clash with Wales – exactly 17 months after he retired from international rugby.

Dallaglio stood down when captain on August 31, 2004, for family reasons but made himself available for England selection again at the start of this season, after his British & Irish Lions tour had been ended by a badly broken ankle.

Dallaglio’s return to the England squad for Saturday’s championship opener was virtually assured when Worcester’s Pat Sanderson suffered a recurrence of his back injury at the weekend.

But the 33-year-old will be restricted to a bench role after captain Martin Corry recovered from bruised ribs and head coach Andy Robinson preferred to start with Joe Worsley at blind-side flanker.

Dallaglio, selected on the bench ahead of Sale’s Chris Jones and Gloucester’s Jamie Forrester, has only won five of his 73 Test caps as a replacement.

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England’s starting XV has a familiar look, featuring only three changes – two of them injury-enforced – from the first-choice side that was narrowly beaten 23-19 by New Zealand in November.

Harry Ellis is preferred to Matt Dawson at scrum-half while Matt Stevens has replaced injured prop Phil Vickery and Worsley comes in for Sanderson.

Mike Tindall and Jamie Noon, criticised in some quarters for being too one-dimensional, are once again paired in the centres. Josh Lewsey stays at full-back and Ben Cohen starts on the wing.

Any chance of Robinson shaking up the midfield – perhaps partnering Lewsey with Olly Barkley – was dashed when Barkley dislocated his thumb and Mark Van Gisbergen, Lewsey’s potential replacement at full-back, was ruled out with a sprained foot.

Barkley’s injury opens the way for Leicester fly-half Andy Goode to provide back-up amongst the replacements for Charlie Hodgson, who needs one point to reach 200 in Test rugby.

Tom Voyce edged out James Simpson-Daniel for a place on the bench, while Simon Shaw provides the second row cover.

Leicester prop Julian White returns to the squad after missing the autumn internationals and Lee Mears provides back-up for hooker Steve Thompson.

England team to play Wales at Twickenham on Saturday:

J Lewsey (Wasps); M Cueto (Sale Sharks), J Noon (Newcastle), M Tindall (Gloucester), B Cohen (Northampton); C Hodgson (Sale Sharks), H Ellis (Leicester); A Sheridan (Sale Sharks), S Thompson (Northampton), M Stevens (Bath), S Borthwick (Bath), D Grewcock (Bath), J Worsley (Wasps), L Moody (Leicester), M Corry (capt, Leicester).

Replacements: L Mears (Bath), J White (Leicester), S Shaw (Wasps), L Dallaglio (Wasps), M Dawson (Wasps), A Goode (Leicester), T Voyce (Wasps).

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