Ben and Tom Youngs named in England squad for Six Nations opener against Wales

Ben Youngs, right, in action for England. Picture: PA/LYNNE CAMERON

Ben Youngs, right, in action for England. Picture: PA/LYNNE CAMERON - Credit: PA

Stuart Lancaster this morning announced his 23-man squad for England's Six Nations curtain-raiser against Wales – and Norfolk brothers Ben and Tom Youngs have made the cut.

Tom Youngs. Picture: PA

Tom Youngs. Picture: PA - Credit: PA

The Leicester Tigers duo, who played junior rugby for Holt and North Walsham, were selected in their country's initial 34-man training squad ahead of the upcoming tournament. And they have done enough at the camp to make sure they are involved in Friday's match at the Millenium Stadium.

Dan Cole features in the front row as a replacement for David Wilson, who has a neck problem, and is one of four British and Irish Lions returning to the 23 alongside Tom Youngs, Mako Vunipola and Tom Croft, who have been picked on the bench.

Younger brother Ben – with 38 caps to his name – retains his position at half-back alongside George Ford.

It is the presence of Danny Cipriani and Nick Easter among the replacements that provides the biggest talking point though with the duo having encountered moments of controversy during their Test careers.


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Cipriani, who made two replacement appearances during the summer tour to New Zealand, benefits from Owen Farrell's Championship-ending knee injury and has been preferred ahead of Stephen Myler to cover for Ford.

Easter won the last of his 47 caps at the 2011 World Cup but has been ignored by Lancaster until his recent return to the fold, rewarded for his magnificent form for Harlequins.

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For more on the Youngs, read Thursday's paper.

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