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England call up 30 players to prepare for Wales

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Article Published: Sunday 12 February 2012

England coach Stuart Lancaster has called up thirty players to an England training camp to prepare for the Six Nations match against Wales in just under two weeks' time.

Next weekend is a rest week in the Six Nations and then England will host Wales in just under two weeks time boosted by a pair of tough wins at difficult places to get a result.

Italy gave England a scare at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday before going down 19-15, their joint best result against the English, whom they have yet to beat.

That followed hot on the heels of a 13-6 win over Scotland at Murrayfield for Lancaster's men and the interim coach is happy with how things are going.

"Obviously our first initial thoughts are we're delighted to get the win," he said.

"We put ourselves in a (good) position in the first 20 minutes. I thought we started well then there was a bit of a mad five minutes and we came in down at the half.

"The most pleasing thing from that point of view was that there was no sense of panic.

"We felt there were one or two areas that we needed to work on, in particular getting balls in the number 10's hands early and getting more tempo into the game.

"I'm pleased we managed to do that and in the second half I'm delighted with the impact our substitutes made.

"It's a great win for us, it was tough, Italy played extremely well and put us under huge pressure.

"They made lots of passes, it was very difficult conditions for the players but overall I'm pleased to get the win and we look forward to go to Twickenham in two weeks time."

Italy dominated the first half against a disjointed England, even though the visitors more or less gifted their hosts two late tries and a 12-6 half-time lead.

But the introduction of scrum-half Lee Dickson and number eight Ben Morgan with just under a half hour left helped turn the game around.

Owen Farrell was also immaculate with his place kicking and with centre Manu Tuilagi and lock Curtney Lawes due to come back into the squad, Lancaster believes things are looking good.

"Italy missed a couple (of kicks) but from our point of view we felt that Owen was fantastic in terms of temperament and the ability to step up and get those kicks to keep our scoreboard ticking over," said the coach.

"Even though the conditions were difficult we had to be brave to be able to play.

"Both Dickson and Morgan made a fantastic impact and gave us our best period of the game.

"We've got some players who put their hands up and that's part of what we'll be considering as well as how they contribute and how they train.

"But Manu Tuilagi and Courtney Lawes played this weekend (for their clubs) as well, they're good internationals and are playing for (a place)."

Charlie Hodgson helped turn the game around by charging down an Andrea Masi clearing kick on 51 minutes before picking up the loose ball to score a try -- in identical fashion to the one he got against Scotland the week before.

And forwards coach Andy Farrell, a former England international and Owen's father, said even that is something the team works on.

"Of course we work on it, we spend hours and hours at the beginning of each week looking at kicking techniques," he said.

"With our defence we want to extend it to putting pressure on the opposition kicking game.

"We're constantly trying to put pressure on every time someone's kicking, whether it's the nine or 10.

"We work on that extra detail and fight to put the opposition under pressure and sometimes we come out with rewards."

Meanwhile David Wilson (jaw) will remain at Bath Rugby for treatment while Tom Palmer will train with Stade Francais and be available for their Top 14 match against Toulon on Saturday.

The squad will train up to and including Thursday with a selection of players being released on Wednesday.

Forwards (16)
Mouritz Botha (Saracens)
Calum Clark (Northampton Saints)
Alex Corbisiero (London Irish)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers)
Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Lee Mears (Bath Rugby)
Ben Morgan (Scarlets)
Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Matt Stevens (Saracens)
Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers)
Rob Webber (London Wasps)

Backs (14)
Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
Brad Barritt (Saracens)
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
Charlie Hodgson (Saracens)
Joe Simpson (London Wasps)
Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby)
David Strettle (Saracens)
Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)


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