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Palmer set to start for England against Wales

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Article Published: Wednesday 22 February 2012

Leicester Tigers lock Geoff Parling is expected to be named in England's starting line up to face Wales after Tom Palmer was dropped from the squad.

Reports claim Parling will move into the starting line-up for his first Test start, along with Northampton scrum-half Lee Dickson and Scarlets number eight Ben Morgan.

All three made an impact off the bench in England's Six Nations victories over Scotland and Italy.

Palmer started both those games but he has been released by interim head coach Stuart Lancaster to play for Stade Francais this weekend.

Northampton lock Courtney Lawes is set to provide the second-row cover on the bench after overcoming a knee injury.

Manu Tuilagi and Toby Flood are also back in England's match-day squad for the first time in the tournament, with both Leicester players expected to start from the bench.

As a result, Harlequins full-back Mike Brown and centre Jordan Turner-Hall have dropped out of England's 22-man squad.

Lancaster has also released Harlequins hooker Chris Brooker, Northampton flanker Calum Clark, Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson and Leicester number eight Thomas Waldrom.

"We've had a great two days of training and some difficult selection decisions with players coming back into the equation," Lancaster said.

"There are some players who have missed out this time but their attitude in training has been outstanding.

"We will look forward to meeting again on Wednesday night with our match day 22 and finalising preparations for the game."

Palmer is the biggest casualty and perhaps a victim of England not enjoying the lineout solidity they would have liked over the opening two rounds of the championship.

"We were nine from 11 in Scotland and 14 from 17 in Italy, with sleet all over the ball against a very competent Italian pack," said forwards coach Graham Rowntree.

"Not all of it was clean so I am looking to improve our delivery and certainly the tempo at which we go about our line-out."

The following players will return to Pennyhill Park on Wednesday evening to train with England ahead of Saturday's Six Nations match against Wales at Twickenham Stadium:

Forwards (12)
Mouritz Botha (Saracens)
Alex Corbisiero (London Irish)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers)
Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Ben Morgan (Scarlets)
Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Matt Stevens (Saracens)
Rob Webber (London Wasps)

Backs (10)
Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
Brad Barritt (Saracens)
Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
Charlie Hodgson (Saracens)
David Strettle (Saracens)
Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

The following players will return to their clubs this evening and be available for the weekend's Aviva Premiership Round 16:

Chris Brooker Harlequins)
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Calum Clark (Northampton Saints)
Paul Doran Jones (Northampton Saints)
Tom Palmer (Stade Francais)
Joe Simpson (London Wasps)
Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins)
Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)

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