Morgan "itching for opportunity"

Date published: February 27 2014

Stuart Lancaster says his England team will get “like-for-like” when Ben Morgan runs out in place of Billy Vunipola against Wales.

England coach Stuart Lancaster says his team will get “like-for-like” when Ben Morgan runs out in place of Billy Vunipola against Wales next Sunday.

Vunipola, who is set to miss the two remaining matches of the Six Nations due to an ankle injury, will be replaced in the starting XV by Morgan.

And Lancaster is confident that the Gloucester number eight will make a decent impact.

“It's a dead set like-for-like replacement,” the coach told Press Association Sport about the decision. “This is a great opportunity for Ben.

“Billy has shown during the Six Nations that he has fantastic potential. It's a big loss because he gave us a lot of go forward.

“But we've seen from Ben's appearances off the bench that he also has the ability to do that.”

Morgan has been waiting patiently on the sidelines for a start and while it has come in unfortunate circumstances, Lancaster knows he won't let England down at Twickenham.

“I know he's been itching for an opportunity and sometimes they happen for you,” he added.

“It's been created for him and I'm sure he'll ready against Wales.

“Ben went back to Gloucester to improve on his performances after the autumn. He was frustrated with himself.

“But he's worked hard off the field in the gym and is in good shape.

“His appearances off the bench off the back of that have been strong and helped him with his confidence. He's playing with confidence now.”