Lancaster: ‘There is no panic’

Date published: September 24 2015

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has said that his selection for Saturday is not a panic move after dropping George Ford.

Ford will start from the bench as Owen Farrell takes over at fly-half for England, with Sam Burgess coming into the centres following Jonathan Joseph's injury.

Joseph is suffering from a pectoral injury but the England coach said that "we don't think [it] is tournament-threatening".

"This is definitely not panic. We are very fortunate to have two high-quality players in this position [in Ford and Farrell]," he said.

"We believe that the team that is picked will give us the best chance of getting a foothold in the game.

"We are confident of Owen's ability to come on and do well. George will play a different role from the bench. He was obviously disappointed."

Sam Burgess will make his second start for England and Lancaster believes that after his performances in training he can have a major role to play at Twickenham.

"It is a big game for Sam. But he has more than proven in the last few months that he is capable of playing at this level.

"You have got to judge on what you have seen in training, when you have 30 players in camp and a lot of 15 on 15 in training.

"I have every confidence that he can defend well. I am confident he can deal with the big-game experience.

"I have confidence that he will get over the gainline. It is a step for him but I think he is ready for it."