Lancaster Resists Tuilagi Temptation as Haskell Replaces Morgan For Ireland
By Nick Howson | February 8, 2013 11:51 PM EST
England coach Stuart Lancaster has resisted the temptation to recall Manu Tuilagi to the starting XV for the Six Nations trip to Ireland as Billy Twelvetrees and Brad Barritt retain their respective places at centre.
There is one enforced change from the 38-18 victory over Scotland, with James Haskell coming in to replace Ben Morgan, whose ankle injury could keep him out of the remainder of the Championship.
Tom Wood will move to eight, with Haskell slotting in at six for his first England appearance since the summer tour to South Africa. Tuilagi settles for a place on the bench instead of David Strettle while Thomas Waldrom is the only other change to the matchday squad.
"Ben Morgan's out for a couple of weeks so there's an enforced change there but I thought James Haskell really stepped up when he came on [against Scotland] for 35 minutes," Lancaster said.
"He was our second top tackler, a couple of turn-overs and played one of the most effective games I've seen him play certainly in the last 12 months with me.
"Tough decision there but with Manu having not played for the last four weeks you need some match fitness really and I don't think he'd last the 80 minutes so I think the best way to utilise him is from the bench.
"Secondly I'm probably more importantly the two centre played extremely well against Scotland and they deserve the chance to go again.
"There's always tough decisions," he added. "It's hard on Dylan Hartley not to start, it's hard on Danny Care not to start and the list goes on.
"When you're a coach you obviously weigh up what people have done in the past but also you weight up where they are in their return to fitness and return to match fitness.
"Manu's been out for a month now. It's hard for any player to come in having not played a full 80 minutes at international level for a month and I think we all know as players when we've been out it takes a while."
England team to face Ireland: A Goode, C Ashton, B Barritt, B Twelvetrees, M Brown, O Farrell, B Youngs, J Marler, T Youngs, D Cole, J Launchbury, G Parling, J Haskell, C Robshaw (c), T Wood
Replacements: D Hartley, M Vunipola, D Wilson, C Lawes, T Waldrom, D Care, T Flood, M Tuilagi
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