FORMER Dursley player Ben Morgan will make his first start for England against Wales in the Six Nations clash on Saturday.
The Scarlets No8 impressed as a replacement in England’s wins over Scotland and Italy and has been selected ahead of Northampton’s Phil Dowson.
It will be Morgan’s first game for England at Twickenham, although he played there twice when he helped Gloucestershire win the National under-20s Championship in back-to-back seasons, scoring in the victory over Yorkshire in 2009.
There will be a lot of attention on Morgan as last month he declared his allegiance to his native country over Wales, who were also courting his services on residency grounds.
His former Dursley team-mate Charlie Sharples, who won his first cap as a second half replacement against Wales last August, was ruled out of the game after missing training early this week due to a dead leg, and was sent back to Gloucester.
Chris Ashton and David Strettle have been preferred on the wings to Sharples for the opening two games.
Morgan’s promotion is one of four changes made by England’s interim head coach Stuart Lancaster with Manu Tuilagi returning from injury at centre, and Owen Farrell moving to fly half.
Lee Dickson, who along with Morgan helped England turnaround a 15-6 deficit in the 19-15 win against Italy, has replaced Ben Youngs at scrum half, while Geoff Parling has come in for Tom Palmer in the second row.
Wales have also won their first two games and England will be trying to stop them from winning the triple crown.