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Rugby World Cup: England coach Stuart Lancaster rejects claims of panic in host's camp

Published 25/09/2015

England head coach Stuart Lancaster
England head coach Stuart Lancaster

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has denied panicking and insists his selection for tomorrow's showdown with Wales has been influenced by how the visitors will play at Twickenham.

Owen Farrell has been selected at fly-half, with George Ford demoted, Sam Burgess at inside centre and Billy Vunipola at number eight in place of Ben Morgan, who has a knee injury.

Brad Barritt has been shifted to outside centre after a chest injury for Jonathan Joseph.

"There is definitely no panic," Lancaster said.

"I am backing our own players. I'm backing the players we've picked for the matchday 23. Don't assume because we've picked the backline we have that all we're going to do is play route one.

"I'd be disappointed if we've spent all this time over the last 12, 18 months, developing our attacking game to just suddenly tuck it up our jumpers and just try to smash our way over the defensive line.

England: M Brown (Harlequins); A Watson (Bath), B Barritt (Saracens), S Burgess (Bath), J May (Gloucester); O Farrell (Saracens), B Youngs (Leicester); J Marler (Harlequins), T Youngs (Leicester), D Cole (Leicester), G Parling (Exeter), C Lawes (Northampton), T Wood (Northampton), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), B Vunipola (Saracens).

Replacements: R Webber (Bath), M Vunipola (Saracens), K Brookes (Northampton), J Launchbury (Wasps), J Haskell (Wasps), R Wigglesworth (Saracens), G Ford (Bath), A Goode (Saracens).

Belfast Telegraph

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