Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Marler steps in for Corbisiero

Joe Marler will start for England against Argentina on Saturday after Alex Corbisiero's British and Irish Lions call-up forced head coach Stuart Lancaster into a late reshuffle of his pack.

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

Corbisiero had been due to start his first England Test since the victory over New Zealand on December 1 but instead he is heading for Australia.

The 24-year-old was 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.

With Lancaster forced into a front row rethink, Marler is now due to win his 11th cap in the first of England's two Tests against the Pumas.

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 in the seven jersey 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, the Wasps wing, 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 his club and collected a unique double at the Rugby Players' Association awards. Jonny Wilkinson is the only other player to have won both the players' player and young player of the year awards - but even he did not do it in the same season.

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.

England head coach Stuart 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.


From Belfast Telegraph