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Launchbury set for England return

England have enlisted the services of 10 of their World Cup training squad for Sunday's non-cap international against the Barbarians at Twickenham.

Among those competing for a place at England 2015 is lock Joe Launchbury, who makes his first Red Rose appearance in almost a year after recovering from a long-term neck problem.

Partnering Launchbury in the second row is uncapped Ed Slater, whose season has been restricted by a serious knee injury.

Lee Dickson captains the side at scrum-half and leads an exciting backline that includes Danny Cipriani, Henry Slade, Elliot Daly and Mathew Tait.

Slade, Exeter's Premiership young player of the year, has been given his first chance to prove he is England's solution in the troublesome inside centre position.

"We've had a short but very good week in camp and the players have worked hard," head coach Stuart Lancaster said.

"This is an exciting group of players who will be eager to impress in an England shirt with a number of guys having one eye on the World Cup in September.

"We know the Barbarians have a large number of experienced international guys and they will be ready for us having played Ireland last night. We are expecting a tough encounter."

England XV to play the Barbarians: M Tait (Leicester Tigers); C Wade (Wasps), E Daly (Wasps), H Slade (Exeter Chiefs), M Yarde Harlequins); D Cipriani (Sale Sharks), L Dickson (Northampton Saints, capt); M Mullan (Wasps), L Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), K Brookes (Newcastle Falcons), E Slater (Leicester Tigers), J Launchbury (Wasps), M Wilson (Newcastle Falcons), J Clifford (Harlequins), J Beaumont (Sale Sharks).

Replacements: T Taylor (Sale Sharks), A Waller (Northampton Saints), G Denman (Northampton Saints), J Gaskell (Wasps), J Fisher (Northampton Saints), W Chudley (Exeter Chiefs), S Geraghty (London Irish), A Lewington (London Irish).


From Belfast Telegraph