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Attacking England line-up can reap reward of Six Nations Wales win

| 24.02.2012

Stuart Lancaster’s four bold decisions could prove pivotal in masterminding a success over Wales, with England 5/4 in the Six Nations odds to retain their 100 per cent start to the tournament.

With Charlie Hodgson ruled out because of a finger injury, Owen Farrell moves from centre to fly-half, with Manu Tuilagi returning to fill the missing link in what will be his first start since the World Cup.

Meanwhile, there are rewards for Lee Dickson and Ben Morgan after both made big impacts when stepping off the bench to add some impetus against Italy.

Dickson will start at scrum half instead of Ben Youngs, while Morgan replaces Phil Dowson at number eight.

The decisions are bold by Lancaster, but it offers fresh hope and experience for the team that are most likely to represent England in the 2015 World Cup.

Farrell will have an important role to fill and England will hope that his move to number ten will not replicate the demise of Mathew Tait, who never really recovered from a disappointing debut in the position in the Six Nations against Wales in 2005.

The role of Dickson will be to deliver the ball quickly to Farrell as often as possible quickly and it will be important that he is protected early from the potential disruption of Wales’ more experienced scrum half Mike Phillips to avoid a knocking of confidence.

Tuilagi’s selection is interesting and it may work in England’s favour that he arrives relatively fresh having missed the opening victories over Scotland and Italy.

The overall team is attack-minded and suggests that England are going out to win the game, while the fact that many of the team will be making their international Twickenham debuts means they will be majorly up for the encounter.

Meanwhile, Youngs and Toby Flood have proved a useful double act for England in the past and there is a strong possibility that the pair could come off the bench to influence things in the latter stages.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.