Robinson And Vickery Out As England Make Six Changes
19 March 2002 12:15pm
Jason Robinson and Phil Vickery will miss England's Triple Crown clash with Wales at Twickenham.
Sale Sharks full back Robinson is sidelined with a lower abdominal injury, while Vickery is ruled out with an ankle problem.
The injuries have forced England manager Clive Woodward into a reshuffle of his back division with the versatile Austin Healey switching to full back and Dan Luger returning to action on the right wing. It will be Healey's first international outing at full back.
Up front, there are changes in every row of the scrum from the side that lost in France.
Bristol's Julian White takes over from the injured Vickery at tight head prop, Danny Grewcock comes in for the suspended Martin Johnson and Lewis Moody comes in at blindside flanker as Joe Worsley reverts to the replacements bench.
Richard Hill moves from No 6 to No 8 and Neil Back captains the side in the absence of his Leicester team mate Johnson.
There are also changes among the replacements. Matt Dawson moves up from the A team, Charlie Hodgson returns after injury and Tim Stimpson takes over from Iain Balshaw.
ENGLAND (v Wales)
Austin Healey (Leicester Tigers); Dan Luger (NEC Harlequins), Will Greenwood (NEC Harlequins), Mike Tindall (Bath), Ben Cohen (Northampton Saints); Jonny Wilkinson (Newcastle Falcons), Kyran Bracken (Saracens); Graham Rowntree (Leicester Tigers), Steve Thompson (Northampton Saints), Julian White (Bristol Shoguns), Ben Kay (Leicester Tigers), Danny Grewcock (Bath), Lewis Moody (Leicester Tigers), Neil Back (Leicester Tigers), Richard Hill (Saracens).
Replacements: Dorian West (Leicester Tigers), Jason Leonard (NEC Harlequins), Martin Corry (Leicester Tigers), Joe Worsley (London Wasps), Matt Dawson (Northampton Saints), Charlie Hodgson (Sale Sharks), Tim Stimpson (Leicester Tigers).
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.
The WRU officially unveiled the new pitch today in time for Wales to take on Australia in the first of the Dove Men Series autumn international matches this Saturday. Head Groundsman Lee Evans and colleague Craig Campbell reflect on the 15-week project and look ahead to a pitch perfect future at Millennium Stadium.