England v Wales, Six Nations, February 6
Flutey injury rocks England
February 5, 2010
England's Riki Flutey gives some instructions, Wales v England, Six Nations Championship, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, February 14, 2009
Riki Flutey has been ruled out of England's opening Six Nations game © Getty Images

England have been dealt a late blow ahead of their Six Nations opener against Wales at Twickenham on Saturday with Riki Flutey ruled out by a thigh injury picked up during training.

The British & Irish Lion has endured a season disrupted by injury since joining French Top 14 side Brive and has been replaced in the starting lineup by Leicester's Toby Flood. Flutey sustained the injury on Thursday, with the England medical staff confirming his absence following a Friday morning fitness test.

Bath's New Zealand-born centre Shontayne Hape is the beneficiary on the bench and will become a dual-code international if called upon. Flutey was set to go up against his Lions team-mate Jamie Roberts as part of a new centre partnership with the re-called Mathew Tait.

Wales have also suffered with injuries in the build-up, with prop Gethin Jenkins and hooker Matthew Rees both sidelined for the vital fixture.

Revised England team to face Wales at Twickenham on Saturday:

D Armitage (London Irish); M Cueto (Sale Sharks), M Tait (Sale Sharks), T Flood (Leicester), U Monye (Harlequins); J Wilkinson (Toulon), D Care (Harlequins); T Payne (Wasps), D Hartley (Northampton), D Wilson (Bath), S Shaw (Wasps), S Borthwick (Saracens, capt), J Haskell (Stade Francais), L Moody (Leicester), N Easter (Harlequins).

Replacements: S Thompson (Brive), D Cole (Leicester), L Deacon (Leicester), S Armitage (London Irish), P Hodgson (London Irish), S Hape (Bath), B Foden (Northampton)

© Scrum.com

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