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Johnson only addition to England squad to face Wales

| 06.03.2014

Exeter forward Tom Johnson has been named in the England squad to face Wales in the Six Nations at Twickenham.

The 31-year-old is expected to be named among the substitutes with Ben Morgan replacing the injured Billy Vunipola in the starting XV when Stuart Lancaster names his line-up for the crucial clash.

Backs Manu Tuilagi and Marlon Yarde were added to England’s training squad after making their comebacks from injury but Lancaster has stuck with the bulk of the squad who impressively saw off the challenge of Ireland last time out.

He said: “The performance against Ireland has given us a lot of confidence going into this game against a high-quality Welsh team and we feel it’s right to give the bulk of that 23 another opportunity.

“Tom Johnson has trained with us throughout and we are looking forward to his contribution.”

England are 8/15 for a victory which will see them win the Triple Crown since Clive Woodward’s World Cup winning side back in 2003.

Lancaster’s men are also still in the hunt for a first Six Nations championship since 2011 but if they harbour any hopes of lifting the title they must beat Wales, a side they have not beaten in their last three attempts.

The Red Rose outfit, who are level on points with Ireland, Wales and France at the top of the table, are 11/8 with Ladbrokes to win the championship.

Wales have been handed a boost for the Twickenham clash with the news that centre Jonathan Davies and lock Alun Wyn Jones have both recovered from injury to take their place in the starting line-up.

Warren Gatland’s side are 13/8 with the bookmaker to repeat their 2012 success over the hosts in west London and keep their bid for a historic third straight title on track.

England: David Attwood (Bath Rugby), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints), Danny Care (Harlequins), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Alex Goode (Saracens), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby).

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Oliver Yew