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Johnno hails impressive Wood

England boss pleased with back-five combination

Last updated: 2nd February 2011   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Johnno hails impressive Wood

Wood: Debutant

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England manager Martin Johnson is backing uncapped Tom Wood to shine in Friday's Six Nations opener against Wales in Cardiff.

The 24-year-old replaces the injured Tom Croft in the back row after an impressive season with Northampton.

Wood, along with James Haskell and Louis Deacon, comes into the side with Mike Tindall handed the captaincy in the absence of Lewis Moody.

And Johnson believes the match offers Wood the chance to cement his place in the starting XV.

Johnson said: "It's a chance for Tom to come and play. Would he have got there with all the guys fit? He probably wouldn't, but he's worth a look and worth his place.

"He was very impressive in the autumn when he came in and the way he's playing, most importantly, with his club, he's a pretty impressive player.

"It's not great to have guys injured but great to get Tom on the field in a big-time Test match. He's 24, 25, so he's not in his first year of it, he's got a bit of experience.

"We've got good carrying ability in that back five as well with James (Haskell) coming in, all those back-row guys are slightly different and it is a good combination we've got."

World Cup-winner Tindall has got the nod ahead of Nick Easter for the captaincy, with Johnson adding: "Mike's a good captain, very experienced, but if he's not there we've got Nick, Louis Deacon who's had a real good week as well - it's good to have him back and in good form."

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Comments (1)

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James Watson says...

Everything was looking fine with the selection until Johnson selected Louis Deacon in the second row, there is no way that he's a better player than George Skivington or Simon Shaw. Also, why does Johnson keep opting for Danny Care, he's no where near Joe Simpson as a player and yet he's on the bench for England? Hopefully it won't matter come Friday, but it's not the strongest side we could have fielded.

Posted 16:58 2nd February 2011

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Forthcoming RBS Six Nations Fixtures
TimeFixture
RBS Six Nations
Friday 6th February
RBS Six Nations
20:05Wales vs England
Saturday 7th February
14:30Italy vs Ireland
17:00France vs Scotland
Saturday 14th February
14:30England vs Italy
17:00Ireland vs France
Sunday 15th February
15:00Scotland vs Wales
Saturday 28th February
14:30Scotland vs Italy
17:00France vs Wales
Sunday 1st March
15:00Ireland vs England
Saturday 14th March
14:30Wales vs Ireland
17:00England vs Scotland
Sunday 15th March
15:00Italy vs France
Saturday 21st March
12:30Italy vs Wales
14:30Scotland vs Ireland
17:00England vs France

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