Barritt starts for England

Date published: September 1 2015

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Brad Barritt will return to the England starting line-up for their Rugby World Cup warm-up game against Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday.

The Saracens centre's last Test came in a 26-17 victory over Australia in November 2014 before injury ruled him out of the ensuing Six Nations.

He replaces Luther Burrell as Jonathan Joseph's midfield partner in one of five changes to Stuart Lancaster's run-on XV from the 25-20 loss to France in Paris.

Elsewhere, Anthony Watson returns to the right wing in place of Jack Nowell while Geoff Parling, Tom Wood and Ben Morgan come in for Joe Launchbury, James Haskell and Billy Vunipola respectively.

Owen Farrell joins Bath's Sam Burgess and fellow Saracen Richard Wigglesworth as backline options on the replacements' bench, while Northampton Saints prop Kieran Brookes will also be poised to make an impact.

"We are excited about this weekend and playing at home and it is another opportunity for these 23 players as we finalise our preparations for the Rugby World Cup," said England head coach Lancaster.

"It's great to see Brad back along with the guys that missed the Six Nations such as Ben Morgan, Joe Launchbury and Owen Farrell, who now have a Test match under their belts.

"It leaves us with lots of options both starting and from the bench.

"The players know that having made the 31 is not enough and we have seen in training how determined they are to be in that squad to play Fiji in the opening game of the tournament."

England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Billy Vunipola, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Sam Burgess.

Date: Saturday, September 5
Kick-off: 14:30 local
Venue: Twickenham
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Romaine Poite (France), Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)
Assessor: Andrew Cole (Australia)

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