Six Nations: Tom Johnson set to feature on England bench for Wales clash

Last Updated: 05/03/14 7:26pm

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Tom Johnson: Exeter flanker in action for England

Tom Johnson: Exeter flanker in action for England

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England are set to name Exeter flanker Tom Johnson on their bench for Sunday's Six Nations showdown with Wales at Twickenham.

Johnson has been included in Stuart Lancaster's 23-man matchday squad and will feature among the replacements when the team is announced on Friday morning.

"We feel it's right to give the bulk of that 23 another opportunity."
Stuart Lancaster

A back row vacancy was created when number eight Billy Vunipola was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament after sustaining an ankle injury in the 13-10 victory over Ireland last month.

Gloucester's Ben Morgan will take Vunipola's place in the starting XV with Johnson, who has five caps, supplying cover from the bench.

Opportunity

"Tom Johnson has trained with us throughout the Six Nations and we are looking forward to his contribution," said Lancaster.

"The performance against Ireland has given us a lot of confidence going into this game against a high quality Welsh team.

"We feel it's right to give the bulk of that 23 another opportunity."

Manu Tuilagi will continue to train with England as his club Leicester are not involved in LV= Cup action this weekend.

Tuilagi only made his comeback from a torn pectoral that has kept him sidelined for six months when the Tigers thrashed Newcastle at Kingston Park on Sunday and has not been considered for selection.

Wasps prop Matt Mullan has also been retained with the squad.

"With Leicester and Wasps not involved in the LV= Cup semi-finals, we are able to keep Matt as cover in the front row and also to give Manu more time to get up to speed with the team," Lancaster said.

Forwards (13): D Attwood (Bath), D Hartley (Northampton), T Johnson (Exeter), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton), J Marler (Harlequins), B Morgan (Gloucester), C Robshaw (Harlequins), H Thomas (Sale), M Vunipola (Saracens), D Wilson (Bath), T Wood (Northampton), T Youngs (Leicester).

Backs (10): M Brown (Harlequins), L Burrell (Northampton), D Care (Harlequins), L Dickson (Northampton), O Farrell (Saracens), G Ford (Bath), A Goode (Saracens), J May (Gloucester), J Nowell (Exeter), B Twelvetrees (Gloucester).

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