Imagine Rugby Blogs

England and Wales Get World Cup Preparations Started

No friendly at Twickenham this weekend

Posted Aug 04, 2011 by Chris White

Jonny Wilkinson and Mike Tindall will be important players for England

Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi will make his eagerly anticipated debut for England this weekend, but he is not the only name of note in the England side that takes on Wales this weekend.

Tuilagi, who missed the final five weeks of the season including the Premiership final through suspension for punching England team-mate Chris Ashton lines up alongside prop Matt Stevens also starts the game at Twickenham for the first time since 2009, having tested positive for cocaine.

Flanker Lewis Moody will captain the side, re-joining the national team, which was lead by the latest member of the Royal family, Mike Tindall. Jonny Wilkinson starts at fly half with Charlie Hodgson named among the replacements as Martin Johnson looks to name his final 30-man squad for the World Cup.

For Wales, coach Warren Gatland is without five players including Matthew Rees, James Hook, and Lee Byrne, so Sam Warburton will lead the side.

Stephen Jones wins his record 101st cap for the Welsh, while there are six changes in total from the side that lost 31-28 to the Barbarians in June.

The Welsh are boosted by the return of Shane Williams, who makes his first appearance in any form of rugby since picking up a knee injury during the Six Nations.

England team to play Wales: 15 Armitage, 14 Banahan, 13 Tuilagi, 12 Flutey, 11 Cueto, 10 Wilkinson, 9 Care; 1 Corbisiero, 2 Hartley, 3 Stevens, 4 Shaw, 5 Palmer, 6 Croft, 7 Moody (C), 8 Haskell.
Replacements: Mears, Wilson, Botha, Wood, Wigglesworth, Hodgson, Sharples.

Wales team to play England: 15 Priestland, 14 North, 13 J Davies, 12 Roberts, 11 Shane Williams, 10 S Jones, 9 Phillips; 1 James, 2 Bennett, 3 Mitchell, 4 B Davies, 5 A W Jones, 6 Lydiate, 7 Faletau, 8 Warburton (C)
Replacements: Burns, Bevington, Charteris, R Jones, Knoyle, Scott Williams, Stoddart

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