England recalls for Lawes and Brown

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Published: Wednesday 11th March 2015 by The News Editor

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England have recalled lock Courtney Lawes and full-back Mike Brown for Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations clash with Scotland.

Lawes makes his first international appearance since facing Australia last autumn after winning his battle with an ankle problem, proving his fitness in two recent club games for Northampton.

Brown returns after missing the 19-9 defeat by Ireland because of the concussion he suffered against Italy, replacing Alex Goode in the starting XV.

The last three changes to the matchday 23 see tighthead prop Kieran Brookes, second row Geoff Parling and flanker Tom Wood named on the bench.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster said: “There’s always a lot of competition for places and having experienced players like Courtney, Tom and Geoff available after playing well for their clubs in the last few weeks adds to our options.

“It’s been an intense two weeks of training as everyone wants to be on that field on Saturday and we’ve had to make some tough selection calls.”

Lawes has replaced George Kruis to reprise the second row partnership with Dave Attwood that was seen throughout the autumn, and his presence offers England a greater carrying threat and more solidity in defence.

The restoration of Brown in the number 15 jersey will also be welcomed by Lancaster, with his tenacity and decision-making missed in the Grand Slam-ending loss in Dublin.

Brookes is back after recovering from a hip flexor problem and will offer tighthead prop cover for Dan Cole.

Parling’s experience sees him replace Nick Easter, providing a specialist second row option on the bench, with Kruis dropping out of the 23 altogether.

The final change sees Tom Wood picked following his successful recovery from an ankle injury, the dislocated shoulder suffered by Tom Croft giving the Northampton flanker his chance.

England are hoping to resurrect their Six Nations title chances by putting Scotland to the sword, but need Wales to do them a favour against Ireland in Cardiff on Saturday.

Their final two matches are at Twickenham and Lancaster has demanded an improvement after enduring a disappointing afternoon at Lansdowne Road.

“Coming back to Twickenham will be huge for us and we are determined to put in a performance against a strong and motivated Scotland team,” Lancaster said.

Published: Wednesday 11th March 2015 by The News Editor

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