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Marler set for England start

Joe Marler is set to start at loosehead prop for England against Argentina in Saturday's first Test after Alex Corbisiero was called up by the British and Irish Lions.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster will name his side on Thursday and it is also likely to include debuts for the Gloucester-bound flanker Matt Kvesic and Wasps wing Christian Wade.

Corbisiero will head for Australia after being summoned as cover for Irish prop Cian Healy, who suffered an ankle injury in the 69-17 victory over the Western Force and is also the subject of a biting allegation. Lancaster was due to name Corbisiero in his side to face the Pumas in Salta but it appears he will now turn to Marler, the Harlequins loosehead prop.

Kvesic, the Gloucester-bound flanker, appears to have edged ahead of the more experienced Tom Johnson to give England a classic ball-winning presence on the openside flank.

Lancaster had said the choice over who to start at openside flanker was one of his toughest selection decisions - but also one of the most important, given the ferocity of the breakdown battle England expect from the Pumas.

Wade is in line to win his first cap at the end of a remarkable season in which he scored 18 tries in 26 games for Wasps and collected a unique double at the Rugby Players' Association awards. Kvesic and Wade will take over in the England side from Chris Robshaw and Chris Ashton, who have both been rested from the summer tour.

With Wade to make his debut on the right wing, England are set to go with experience on the left and start with David Strettle, rather than the uncapped Marland Yarde or Jonny May.

Lancaster appears ready to hand Bath lock Dave Attwood and hooker Rob Webber their first Test starts, while tighthead David Wilson is looking to make the most of Dan Cole's absence.

Wilson will be winning his 27th cap on Saturday but making only his fifth England start after an international career spent acting as Cole's understudy, a role in which he is growing increasingly frustrated.

Cole, who is on British and Irish Lions duty this summer, has missed just one of England's last 41 Tests. As a result, Wilson has played the total of 54 minutes in seven appearances off the bench this season.


From Belfast Telegraph