Planet Rugby



Johnson named in England 23

06th March 2014 03:20


Tom Johnson Exeter and England 2014

Given a chance: Tom Johnson

Exeter flanker Tom Johnson is set to be named on England's bench for Sunday's Six Nations clash with Wales at Twickenham after being included in the 23-man matchday squad.

Head Coach Stuart Lancaster will name his starting XV on Friday with Ben Morgan expected to start at number eight in the place of the injured Billy Vunipola, which opens up a spot for Johnson, who has five caps, among the replacements.

"Tom Johnson has trained with us throughout the Six Nations and we are looking forward to his contribution," said Lancaster.

"The performance against Ireland has given us a lot of confidence going into this game against a high quality Welsh team.

"We feel it's right to give the bulk of that 23 another opportunity."

Manu Tuilagi will continue to train with England as his club Leicester are not involved in LV= Cup action this weekend.

Tuilagi only made his comeback from a torn pectoral that has kept him sidelined for six months when the Tigers thrashed Newcastle at Kingston Park on Sunday and has not been considered for selection.

Wasps prop Matt Mullan has also been retained with the squad.

"With Leicester and Wasps not involved in the LV= Cup semi-finals, we are able to keep Matt as cover in the front row and also to give Manu more time to get up to speed with the team," added Lancaster.

England squad:

Forwards (13): David Attwood (Bath ) Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints) Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs) Joe Launchbury (London Wasps) Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints) Joe Marler (Harlequins) Ben Morgan (Gloucester ) Chris Robshaw (Harlequins) Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks) Mako Vunipola (Saracens) David Wilson (Bath ) Tom Wood (Northampton Saints) Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Backs (10): Mike Brown (Harlequins) Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints) Danny Care (Harlequins) Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints) Owen Farrell (Saracens) George Ford (Bath ) Alex Goode (Saracens) Jonny May (Gloucester ) Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester )

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