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Page last updated at 12:17 GMT, Friday, 11 March 2011

Six Nations: Croft back on bench as Corbisiero starts

Six Nations: ENGLAND v SCOTLAND
Venue: Twickenham Date: Sun, 13 March Kick-off: 1500 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One and online from 1430-1700; Post-match forum on BBC Red Button and online 1700-1730; Listen on BBC Radio 5 live; Text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles

Tom Croft trains with England
Croft broke his shoulder in the autumn Test against South Africa

Fit-again flanker Tom Croft has been named on the bench for England's Six Nations clash with Scotland on Sunday.

The Leicester forward, who missed the opening three games, takes over from Hendre Fourie among the replacements.

Simon Shaw retains his place in the 22 despite lock Courtney Lawes returning to the squad for training this week.

The one change to the starting line-up sees Alex Corbisiero, who took over from the injured Andrew Sheridan against France, at loose-head prop.

Corbisiero, who made an impressive full debut against Italy, will win his third cap after Sheridan tore his calf and was ruled out of the remainder of the Championship.

Gloucester prop Paul Doran-Jones comes onto the bench, with David Wilson still struggling with an ankle problem, as England seek a fourth straight win in their pursuit of a first Six Nations title, and possible Grand Slam, since 2003.

Flood ready to take on Scotland

As expected, Toby Flood starts at fly-half after recovering from an Achilles injury sustained in the win over France.

Croft returns to an England squad for the first time since fracturing his shoulder against South Africa in the final Test of the autumn campaign.

Croft has started Leicester's last two games after making his return from injury as a replacement.

"We felt he was ready to come back and it gives us some real flexibility there and some pace off the bench," said manager Martin Johnson.

"It shows the strength in depth we have got now. Tom has been around international rugby for three years now so is relatively experienced compared to others.

"But Tom Wood has been playing very well. He has only been there for three games but it feels a lot longer."

Lawes, who played a full match for Northampton last weekend on his return from a knee injury, will have to wait at least another week before making his Test comeback, with the veteran Shaw having shaken off a knock to retain his place on the bench.

Johnson cool on Grand Slam talk

"If Courtney had to come in and play on Sunday he would be OK, but we felt another club game on the weekend will put him in an even better place.

"The guys who have played there [Louis Deacon and Tom Palmer] have played well and you have got to fight your way in. The more difficult decisions we have, the better it is for us."

England are hot favourites to beat the Scots, who have not won at Twickenham since 1983 and have lost their opening three games of the Championship.

But Johnson insists there is no question of any complacency from within the home camp.

"I have been pretty impressed," he added. "The guys have had their feet on the ground from the minute they came off the field against France.

"We have earned everything we have got in this tournament. Nothing has come easily or cheaply, and it will be the same on Sunday - it starts again at 0-0.

"We have got to fight and battle all the way through this game to get any advantage Scotland will be hurting, and we are fully aware of what we have got to do to win."


England team to face Scotland: Ben Foden (Northampton); Chris Ashton (Northampton), Mike Tindall (Gloucester, captain), Shontanye Hape (Bath), Mark Cueto (Sale); Toby Flood (Leicester), Ben Youngs (Leicester); Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Dylan Hartley (Northampton), Dan Cole (Leicester), Louis Deacon (Leicester), Tom Palmer (Stade Francais), Tom Wood (Northampton), James Haskell (Stade Francais), Nick Easter (Harlequins).

Replacements: Steve Thompson (Leeds), Paul Doran-Jones (Gloucester), Simon Shaw (Wasps), Tom Croft (Leicester), Danny Care (Harlequins), Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon), Matt Banahan (Bath).



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see also
Guscott on England v Scotland
11 Mar 11 |  Rugby Union
England 22-16 Scotland
13 Mar 11 |  Rugby Union
Richie Gray's Six Nations Diary
11 Mar 11 |  Scottish
Robinson makes Scotland changes
10 Mar 11 |  Scottish
Scots target England's creativity
08 Mar 11 |  Scottish
Exeter 30-9 Northampton
06 Mar 11 |  English
Leicester 14-15 Saracens
05 Mar 11 |  English
Sheridan ruled out of Six Nations
01 Mar 11 |  English
England 17-9 France
26 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
England 59-13 Italy
12 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Wales 19-26 England
04 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union


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