Manu Tuilagi, Brad Barritt and Billy Twelvetrees in England squad to face Ireland
Last Updated: 08/02/13 10:04am
Manu Tuilagi: Could return from injury to face Ireland on Sunday
England coach Stuart Lancaster has kept his midfield options open by including Manu Tuilagi, Brad Barritt and Billy Twelvetrees in his 25-man squad for Sunday's RBS Six Nations clash with Ireland.
Tuilagi is available again after missing England's Calcutta Cup victory over Scotland but must prove he is fully up to speed if he is to be put straight back into the starting line-up.
Uncapped Wasps No 8 Billy Vunipola is also in contention to replace Ben Morgan, who has not been included in the travelling party after suffering a sprained ankle against Scotland.
Morgan will remain with the England squad to continue treatment and, although not officially ruled out, the Gloucester forward is a major doubt for the clash at Aviva Stadium.
James Haskell is expected to be promoted into the starting line-up at blindside flanker, with Tom Wood set to shift across the back row to replace Morgan and Vunipola or Thomas Waldrom expected to be named on the bench.
Seven players - Mouritz Botha, Freddie Burns, Ben Foden Lee Dickson, Will Fraser, Jonathan Joseph and Matt Kvesic - have been released from the squad and will not take part against Ireland.
England are permitted under the terms of their agreement with Premiership Rugby to travel to away games with two additional players to their 23-man match-day squad. Lancaster will confirm the match-day selection on Friday.
England squad to face Ireland:
Backs: C Ashton (Saracens), B Barritt (Saracens), M Brown (Harlequins), D Care (Harlequins), O Farrell (Saracens), T Flood (Leicester), A Goode (Saracens), D Strettle (Saracens), M Tuilagi (Leicester), B Twelvetrees (Gloucester), B Youngs (Leicester).
Forwards: D Cole (Leicester), D Hartley (Northampton), J Haskell (Wasps), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton), J Marler (Harlequins), G Parling (Leicester), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), B Vunipola (Wasps), M Vunipola (Saracens), T Waldrom (Leicester), D Wilson (Bath), T Wood (Northampton), T Youngs (Leicester).