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Ford set for England debut

19th February 2014 06:14

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GEORGE FORD BATH ENGLAND

Set for debut: George Ford

Uncapped Bath fly-half George Ford has been named in England's matchday squad for Saturday's Six Nations clash with Ireland.

Ford, who is expected to make his Test debut off the bench, has taken the place of Brad Barritt in the squad.

With tighthead prop Dan Cole injured, Davey Wilson is set to start with Henry Thomas with on the bench.

Ford's inclusion is the only selection change from the squad which beat Scotland 20-0 in the Calcutta Cup earlier this month.

Along with Barritt, Chris Ashton, Freddie Burns, Kyle Eastmond, Matt Kvesic, Tom Johnson, Matt Mullan, Ed Slater, Anthony Watson and Ben Youngs were released back to their clubs.

"We feel that the time is right to include George Ford in the matchday squad," said Lancaster.

"A full three weeks of training has allowed him the chance to really understand the way we are developing our game and this time has been crucial in order for him to feel confident and ready in a key decision making and leadership position.

"We have successfully integrated and included many young players over the last two years and George is the next exciting talent to make his mark in the senior squad and we are a looking forward to see him develop over the next few months.

"Brad is obviously disappointed to miss out but he is still a key member of our squad and I am sure he will get further opportunities in the future. He hasn't had much game time since his injury and will benefit from some time with Saracens over the next two weeks."

England squad:

Forwards: David Attwood, Dylan Hartley, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Ben Morgan, Chris Robshaw, Henry Thomas, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, David Wilson, Tom Wood, Tom Youngs.

Backs: Mike Brown, Luther Burrell, Danny Care, Lee Dickson, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Alex Goode, Jonny May, Jack Nowell, Billy Twelvetrees.

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