Owen Farrell misses out as England opt for toby Flood
head coach Stuart Lancaster feels Owen Farrell could still have a big part to play in tomorrow’s second Test against South Africa as England aim to level the three-match series in Johannesburg.
The Saracens playmaker has been dropped to the bench, with Leicester’s Toby Flood restored at stand-off. Despite kicking four penalties, Farrell had an indifferent game in the first Test loss in Durban.
Lancaster said: “Owen misses out and moves to the bench, but I am sure he will make a big impact on the game as it goes on. He has started in every one of the seven games I have been in charge and he has got a fantastic future ahead of him. He was disappointed when he heard the news but his training has been outstanding.”
Flood will be England’s most experienced starter as he wins his 49th cap but he is yet to make his mark in Lancaster’s new-look side due to injury. A knee problem ruined his chances of playing in the RBS 6 Nations before groin and ankle problems ended his domestic season prematurely. He was used as a second-half substitute last weekend in place of injured centre Brad Barritt but Lancaster feels it is now time to pair him with Tigers team-mate Ben Youngs at half-back.
Lancaster said: “He is a very experienced player for us coming into this game. He is one of our most capped internationals and has waited patiently for his opportunity. Now is the time to give him that chance. Obviously he has got partnered with Ben at nine and Manu Tuilagi at twelve. That Leicester triumvirate should hopefully serve us well.”
Tuilagi takes Barritt’s place at inside centre and London Irish youngster Jonathan Joseph comes in for his first start at No 13. Elsewhere in the backline, Ben Foden reverts to full-back in place of the injured Mike Brown with David Strettle returning on the left wing.
Lancaster has named an unchanged pack.
England: B Foden (Northampton); C Ashton (Northampton, J Joseph (London Irish), M Tuilagi (Leicester), D Strettle (Saracens); T Flood (Leicester), B Youngs (Leicester); J Marler (Harlequins), D Hartley (Northampton), D Cole (Leicester), M Botha (Saracens), G Parling (Leicester), T Johnson (Exeter), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), B Morgan (Scarlets). Subs: L Mears (Bath), A Corbisiero (London Irish), T Palmer (Stade Francais), P Dowson (Northampton), L Dickson (Northampton), O Farrell (Saracens), A Goode (Saracens).
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland).
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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