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Dublin: 3°C Wednesday 14 April 2021

Cipriani, Easter back on England's bench as Lancaster pairs Burrell and Joseph in the centre

George Ford is England’s number 10 and will be partnered by Ben Youngs.

Burrell celebrates against Wales in Twickenham last year.
Burrell celebrates against Wales in Twickenham last year.
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

ENGLAND COACH STUART Lancaster has paired Jonathan Joseph and Luther Burrell in the centre of a relatively inexperienced backline to face Wales in Cardiff on Friday night.

Last year’s Six Nations runners-up have up to 12 absentees through injury including Brad Barritt and Many Tuilagi.

Bath’s Joseph and Northampton Saints’ Burrell  have 13 caps between them and will be flanked by Anthony Watson (4 caps)  and Jonny May (11) on the wing with George Ford partnered at half-back by Ben Youngs.

Notably, Ford’s understudy on the bench will be the recalled Danny Cipriani. The in-form Sale playmaker won two of his nine caps on England’s tour of New Zealand last year – a tour which invited several players back in from the cold – but has not appeared in the Six Nations for seven years.

Also among the replacements is Harlequins talisman Nick Easter, back in the international frame for the first time since 2011. He will not be joined by clubmate Danny Care as Saracens’ Richard Wigglesworth gets the nod as scrum-half cover. Billy Twelvetrees won the right to cover the backline positions ahead of Alex Goode.

ITALY ENGLAND RUGBY SIX NATIONS Cipriani comes on to replace Jonny Wilkinson in 2008. Source: AP/Press Association Images

England (v Wales. Friday 20.05):

15. Mike Brown
14. Anthony Watson
13. Jonathan Joseph
12. Luther Burrell
11. Jonny May
10. George Ford
9. Ben Youngs

1. Joe Marler
2. Dylan Hartley
3. Dan Cole
4. David Attwood
5. George Kruis
6. James Haskell
7. Chris Robshaw (captain)
8. Billy Vunipola.


16. Tom Youngs
17. Mako Vunipola
18. Kieran Brookes
19. Tom Croft
20. Nick Easter
21. Richard Wigglesworth
22. Danny Cipriani
23. Billy Twelvetrees.

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