Launchbury passed fit for England
10:30am Thursday 14th March 2013 in National Rugby
JOE Launchbury has passed a late fitness test and will start for England in their Grand Slam showdown with Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
The Wasps lock injured his elbow in England's 18-11 win against Italy but he has improved to retain his place in a side that features four changes for the RBS 6 Nations title decider.
Tom Croft will start at blindside flanker in only his seventh appearance since returning to action after recovering from a broken neck that almost left him paralysed.
Croft has replaced James Haskell, Joe Marler has reclaimed the loosehead prop position from Mako Vunipola and England will start with Owen Farrell and Ben Youngs at half-back.
Farrell missed the game against Italy with a thigh strain but he was passed fit on Monday and returns to the side in place of Toby Flood, with Youngs replacing Danny Care at scrum-half.
England: A Goode (Saracens); C Ashton (Saracens), M Tuilagi (Leicester), B Barritt (Saracens), M Brown (Harlequins); O Farrell (Saracens), B Youngs (Leicester); J Marler (Harlequins), T Youngs (Leicester), D Cole (Leicester), J Launchbury (Wasps), G Parling (Leicester), T Croft (Leicester), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), T Wood (Northampton).
Replacements: D Hartley (Northampton), D Wilson (Bath), M Vunipola (Saracens), C Lawes (Northampton), J Haskell (Wasps), D Care (Harlequins), T Flood (Leicester), B Twelvetrees (Gloucester).