England’s try scoring hero Charlie Hodgson will miss Saturday’s Triple Crown showdown with Wales at Twickenham because of a finger injury.
The 2005 British & Irish Lions outside half cut his finger in training this week and will not be fit in time to play against unbeaten Wales. Having scored charge down tries in the English away wins over Scotland and Italy in the opening two rounds of the 2012 RBS 6 Nations, the Saracens playmaker was looking to extend his scoring run.
England caretaker coach Stuart Lancaster has made five changes, one positional from the side that won in Rome, with Hodgson’s clubmate Owen Farrell switching to No 10 from centre
Scarlets No 8 Ben Morgan, Leicester Tigers lock Geoff Parling and Northampton Saints scrum half Lee Dickson all get their first Test starts as Lancaster tinkers with his resources for his first home game in charge.
Parling comes into the second row to replace Tom Palmer, Morgan takes over from Phil Dowson in the back row and Dickson replaces Ben Youngs at scrum half. Farrell’s switch from centre allows the fit again Manu Tuilagi to link-up with Brad Barritt at centre.
There are returns to action among the replacements for lock Courtney Lawes and Toby Flood and Phil Dowson and Youngs also drop to the bench to allow Morgan and Dickson to make their first starts.
Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: "It's been a good start with two wins but we've got real competition for places and Lee, Ben and Geoff deserve an opportunity to start this game. It means that Phil Dowson and Ben Youngs will provide a different role from the bench and it's great to have Courtney Lawes and Toby Flood, who can also give us options in what I am sure will be a full-on encounter.
"Charlie cut his finger in training earlier in the week and needed stitches but it swelled up and there is a sprain there. We assessed him this morning and he cannot grip fully. Owen has trained throughout and knows our patterns and plays, so we are fully confident in his ability to run the game from No10 and we are looking forward to seeing how Brad and Manu gel together in the centre.
"It's our first home game of the RBS 6 Nations, which we are really excited about, and we are sure the crowd will get behind us just as the travelling supporters have done in Scotland and Italy. Playing at Twickenham makes it extra special for us and I know we will get all the encouragement we need."
15 Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
14 Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
13 Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
12 Brad Barritt (Saracens)
11 David Strettle (Saracens)
10 Owen Farrell (Saracens)
9 Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
1 Alex Corbisiero (London Irish)
2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
4 Mouritz Botha (Saracens)
5 Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)
6 Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers)
7 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt)
8 Ben Morgan (Scarlets)
16 Rob Webber (London Wasps)
17 Matt Stevens (Saracens)
18 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
19 Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints)
20 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
21 Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
22 Mike Brown (Harlequins)