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Page last updated at 12:19 GMT, Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Worsley replaces Moody in England side to play Scotland

RBS SIX NATIONS: Scotland v England
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh Date: Saturday 13 March Kick-off: 1700 GMT
Coverage: Watch on BBC One, BBC HD channel, Red Button and BBC Sport website; listen on Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Sport website; text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles


Johnson 'excited' ahead of Scotland test

England manager Martin Johnson has made just two changes to the starting XV for Saturday's Calcutta Cup match against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Wasps' Joe Worsley replaces Lewis Moody at open-side flanker, while Leicester lock Louis Deacon comes in for the injured Simon Shaw.

Full-back Delon Armitage has shaken off a rib injury and will start.

There is one newcomer on the bench, with Leicester scrum-half Ben Youngs taking the place of Paul Hodgson.

Also added to the bench are Northampton lock Courtney Lawes, who won his first cap as a replacement against Australia last November, and Brive hooker Steve Thompson.

England are looking to bounce back from their home defeat by Ireland last time out after wins over Wales and Italy.

Johnson said: "It was probably the toughest selection we've had, not because we lost the last game but because the squad we have now, if we lose someone, we have someone in that position who can come in and we wouldn't miss a beat.


"It was a harsh call on Paul who has been fantastic for us on and off the pitch but Ben is playing well and deserved his chance.

"We felt it was the best call to put Joe in the starting team and have Lewis on the bench to make an impact.

"It is not a reflection at all on how Lewis has played, it is more of a reflection on the strength and depth of the players we have in the squad.

"They are two different players. They can both play six and seven. There is not a weakness in Lewis's game but Joe's defence is good and his ball-carrying is particularly strong."

Attack coach Brian Smith said he hoped for England to be "more clinical" against Scotland, despite Johnson having picked the same backline that looked so blunt in the 20-16 home defeat by Ireland.

Northampton full-back Ben Foden, a renowned runner with ball in hand, had been tipped to start against Scotland but Johnson has retained his faith in London Irish number 15 Armitage.

Wilkinson unfazed by poor form

"I'm satisfied we are making progress but not with the outcome," said Smith. "Our aim this weekend is that every chance we create we finish.

"We've threatened every team we've played so far and put them under pressure but we have to be smart."

Worsley, 32, returns to the starting XV for the first time since suffering knee ligament damage in the opening minute of England's 19-6 defeat to New Zealand in November.

He made his first appearance in this year's Six Nations as a substitute against Ireland at Twickenham and has played 72 times for England.

"Everyone is still annoyed about losing to Ireland and obviously that is a big impetus to move forward and play well again," he said.

"We should have won that match, which makes it even more frustrating. Hopefully we can bottle that up and take it into this weekend."

Wasps veteran Shaw, 36, went off in the first five minutes of England's defeat against Ireland after suffering a shoulder injury and was replaced by Deacon.

The 20-year-old Youngs, whose father, Nick, won six caps for England at scrum-half between 1983 and 1984, played against Hodgson on Saturday as Leicester beat London Irish 35-19 in the Premiership.


Scotland, coached by former England boss Andy Robinson, return to Murrayfield on the back of a defeat to Italy in Rome and chasing their first victory of the tournament.

But England have lost on each of their last two visits to Murrayfield and Saturday's game marks the 20-year anniversary of Scotland's 13-7 Grand Slam-clinching victory.

"We are playing a Scotland team who have lost three games and they could certainly have won two of them," added Johnson. "They are an incredibly resilient, tough team."

England: Delon Armitage; Mark Cueto, Mathew Tait, Riki Flutey, Ugo Monye; Jonny Wilkinson, Danny Care; Tim Payne, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole; Louis Deacon, Steve Borthwick (captain); James Haskell, Joe Worsley, Nick Easter.
Replacements: Steve Thompson, David Wilson, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Moody, Ben Youngs, Toby Flood, Ben Foden.

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see also
De Luca wins Scots starting place
09 Mar 10 |  Scottish
Stade accuse England over Haskell
05 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
Johnson ponders England approach
28 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
England 16-20 Ireland
27 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union

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