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England release 10 with Launchbury and Vunipola set for debuts

England have released ten players back to their clubs for this weekends fixtures, meaning that the 23 man squad to face Fiji has been finalised.

It means that youngsters Joe Launchbury and Mako Vunipola are almost certain to make their debuts, most likely from the bench.

Launchbury’s inclusion over the more experienced Mouritz Botha is probably the most surprising decision from the England management, with the young Wasps man only joining the squad as an injury replacement earlier in the week.

With both James Haskell and Ben Morgan returning to their clubs it seems certain that Thomas Waldrom will start at number 8 alongside captain Chirs Robshaw on the flank.

Regarding the probable debuts of Vunipola and Launchbury, Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said:

“Saturday is a great opportunity for us to put a marker down and deliver a quality performance, it’s great to have young players such as Mako and Joe get their opportunities in the matchday 23 and we are excited about the potential of the squad.”

In all, England have released: Anthony Allen, Mouritz Botha, Freddie Burns, Alex Corbisiero, Lee Dickson, Phil Dowson, James Haskell, Ben Morgan, George Robson and Billy Twelvetrees.

The major debates over the starting fifteen appear to be full back, where Alex Goode is expected to get the nod over Mike Brown for the Fiji game, and at hooker, where Leicester’s Tom Youngs is expected to start but will be under pressure from David Paice.

Probable side to face Fiji:

15. Alex Goode (Saracens), 14. Charlie Sharples (Gloucester), 13. Manu Tuilagi (Leicester), 12. Brad Barritt (Saracens), 11. Ugo Monye (Harlequins), 10. Toby Flood (Leicester), 9. Danny Care (Harlequins).

1.Joe Marler (Harlequins), 2. Tom Youngs (Leicester), 3. Dan Cole (Leicester), 4. Geoff Parling (Leicester), 5. Tom Palmer (Wasps), 6. Tom Johnson (Exeter), 7. Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, Captain), 8. Thomas Waldrom (Leicester).

Replacements:

16. David Paice (London Irish), 17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens), 18. David Wilson (Bath), 19. Joe Launchbury (Wasps), 20. Tom Wood (Northampton), 21. Ben Youngs (Leicester), 22. Owen Farrell (Saracens), 23. Mike Brown (Harlequins).

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