Stevens handed England recall

Tuilagi to make debut at Twickenham

Last Updated: 04/08/11 4:03pm

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Stevens: Will play for England for the first time since 2008

Stevens: Will play for England for the first time since 2008

Sky Bet

England have recalled Matt Stevens and handed Manu Tuilagi his debut for Saturday's clash with Wales at Twickenham.

Tuilagi, a Samoan-born 20-year-old will start at outside centre in an England side that includes prop Stevens for the first time since 2008, shortly after which he tested positive for cocaine and was banned for two years.

Leicester man Tuilagi attracted heavy criticism for his brutal attack on Northampton's Chris Ashton during last season's Premiership semi-final.

The pair have trained together since, although Ashton has been rested by coach Martin Johnson with Bath giant Matt Banahan switching from centre to wing.


"I'm really proud to be winning my first cap," said Tuilagi, who was voted Aviva Premiership young player of the year last season.

"There is a lot of competition for places and I just want to take this chance and do the best I can for the team.

"The boys have worked hard during the camp but now we have to perform against Wales."

Danny Care and Jonny Wilkinson make up the half-back pairing as scrum-half Ben Youngs sits out following a minor operation, and Delon Armitage is named at full-back.

In the pack, Alex Corbisiero and Dylan Hartley complete the front line and Lewis Moody returns to captain the side from a strong-looking back row.

Saracens lock Mouritz Botha and Gloucester wing Charlie Sharples are both primed to make their Test debuts off the bench.

England: D Armitage (London Irish); M Banahan (Bath Rugby), M Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), R Flutey (London Wasps), M Cueto (Sale Sharks); J Wilkinson (Toulon), D Care (Harlequins); A Corbisiero (London Irish), D Hartley (Northampton Saints), M Stevens (Saracens), S Shaw (Unattached), T Palmer (Stade Francais), T Croft (Leicester Tigers), L Moody (Bath Rugby, capt), J Haskell (Ricoh Black Rams).
Replacements: L Mears (Bath Rugby), D Wilson (Bath Rugby), M Botha (Saracens), T Wood (Northampton Saints), R Wigglesworth (Saracens), C Hodgson (Saracens), C Sharples (Gloucester Rugby).

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