Martin Johnson to try new look midfield for England

Martin Johnson has named a new-look midfield of Jonny Wilkinson, Mike Tindall and Manu Tuilagi for England's final World Cup warm-up international against Ireland on Saturday.

Wilkinson has reclaimed the fly-half role from Toby Flood just a fortnight before England's opening World Cup encounter, against Argentina on September 10.



Tuilagi made a try-scoring debut against Wales three weeks ago and returns to the team in place of Shontayne Hape, with Tindall moving to inside centre.



Tindall, who continues as captain in the absence of Lewis Moody, will win his 72nd cap and draw level with Will Carling as England's most-capped centre.



The team features six changes from the 19-9 defeat to Wales in Cardiff and provides the strongest indication yet of Johnson's first choice World Cup side.



Wing Chris Ashton will make his first start of the warm-up campaign after overcoming a foot injury, joining Ben Foden and Mark Cueto in the back three.

Richard Wigglesworth starts again at scrum-half as Ben Youngs continues his recovery from a knee operation.



Moody and Youngs were the only two not considered due to injury.



Steve Thompson continues at hooker alongside Andrew Sheridan, who will make his first appearance of the warm-up campaign after recovering from a shoulder operation, and Dan Cole.



Louis Deacon and Courtney Lawes pair up again in the second row, with James Haskell starting at openside flanker, where he played during England's RBS 6 Nations title-winning campaign.



Tom Croft returns at blindside flanker with Tom Wood moving to the bench and Nick Easter continues at number eight.



"We expect a hugely competitive game in Dublin and it gives us the ideal run-out before we depart for the World Cup," said Johnson.



"These warm-up fixtures have been valuable in terms of our preparation for the World Cup, giving players game time together.



"We are pleased to see Andrew Sheridan back in the mix after working hard to get back to full fitness and he, along with Chris Ashton, will get his first start since meeting up in camp.



"Mike Tindall captains the side and, as he reaches another milestone in the game, he further demonstrates the level of quality and experience he brings to the side as a player and leader."



At the other end of the scale, Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson is set to make his Test debut off the bench after being included in England's 30-man World Cup squad.

England team to play Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday, August 27 (kick-off 2.30pm):

B Foden (Northampton); C Ashton (Northampton), M Tuilagi (Leicester), M Tindall (Gloucester, capt), M Cueto (Sale); J Wilkinson (Toulon), R Wigglesworth (Saracens); A Sheridan (Sale), S Thompson (Wasps) D Cole (Leicester), L Deacon (Leicester), C Lawes (Northampton), T Croft (Leicester), J Haskell (Black Rams), N Easter (Harlequins).



Replacements: D Hartley (Northampton), M Stevens (Saracens), S Shaw (unattached), T Wood (Northampton), J Simpson (Wasps), T Flood (Leicester), D Armitage (London Irish).



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Jodie Stimpson crosses the finishing line to win gold in the women's triathlon
Commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan stars as Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie
filmFirst look at Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey trailor
Life and Style
Phillips Idowu, Stella McCartney and Jessica Ennis
fashionMcCartney to continue designing Team GB Olympics kit until 2016
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game