Preview: England weather Samoa storm
September 22, 2007

Jonny Wilkinson and Olly Barkley both return to England's starting line-up for Saturday's World Cup clash against Samoa on Saturday after injury.

England have received a timely double boost ahead of their crucial World Cup clash against Samoa in Nantes next Saturday with Jonny Wilkinson and Olly Barkley both returning to the starting line-up.

Newcastle fly-half Wilkinson will make his first start of the tournament after an ankle ligament problem ruled him out of the appointments with America and South Africa.

Barkley - who missed the Springboks game due to a hip problem - is also back, lining up at inside-centre instead of Andy Farrell, who drops to the bench.

As expected, England head coach Brian Ashton has made sweeping changes following his team's record 36-0 World Cup loss to South Africa.

Injured Jason Robinson, fly-half Mike Catt, scrum-half Shaun Perry and flanker Tom Rees all fail to make the matchday 22 following the Springboks debacle, while Jamie Noon has returned home for further treatment on a tournament-ending knee injury.

And Lawrence Dallaglio has also failed to force his way in, with Ashton retaining Harlequins number eight Nick Easter in the back row alongside skipper Martin Corry and Wasps' Joe Worsley.

Elsewhere in the pack, Leicester hooker George Chuter is preferred to Mark Regan for his World Cup debut.

But Ashton's major surgery has taken place behind the scrum, where only Wasps wing Paul Sackey remains in his original starting position from the South Africa game last Friday.

Josh Lewsey is moved from wing to full-back instead of hamstring victim Robinson, with Mark Cueto featuring in the Number 14 shirt.

Barkley and Mathew Tait form a new centre partnership, while Wilkinson replaces Catt and Harlequins scrum-half Andy Gomarsall ousts Shaun Perry.

Perry was substituted at half-time following a miserable opening 40 minutes against South Africa, and 2003 World Cup winner Gomarsall now has a clear chance to stake his claim for the rest of this tournament.

Much will be expected of Wilkinson to get England back on a winning track after their shambolic effort at the hands of South Africa.

England must beat Samoa to keep themselves in the qualifying picture from Pool A, although their appointment with Tonga in Paris on Friday week will still effectively be an eliminator for the quarter finals.

Provided England beat Samoa and Tonga, their likely opponents in the last eight will be Australia, but Ashton can only concentrate on the next 10 days which will make or break England's World Cup campaign.

Samoa have restored World Cup veteran Brian Lima to their starting line-up for Saturday's clash.

Lima, the only player to feature in five World Cups, has recovered from the effects of a concussion that forced him off just three minutes after going on as a second-half substitute against South Africa in Samoa's group opener.

Lima, nicknamed The Chiropractor for his devastating tackling ability, then missed Samoa's 19-15 loss to Tonga in Montpellier.

But Jones said: "Brian is fine. We had a neurological specialist look at him a couple of days after the South Africa game.

"He had the full CAT scan and cognitive tests, and he came through with flying colours. He's fine and he's raring to go. We needed to give him last week
off.''

Lima, 35, will partner London Irish centre Seilala Mapusua, even though most of his rugby has been played as a wing.

But Jones added: "It's not new to him. He played at second-five (inside centre) in 2003.

"We've got some good options on the wing, and Brian brings a lot of stability to the midfield.

"He's very committed to making those tackles. We trust him, he's been playing this game longer than most of us have.

"I am not going to change his tackling (style) at this stage. It's all a matter of timing, and I don't think he will get the timing wrong.''

Jones has named a side packed with Guinness Premiership-based players for a game his team must win to keep alive their quarter-final hopes.

Of the back division, only scrum-half Junior Polu does not ply his trade in the Premiership.

Samoa's surprise defeat against Tonga has left them behind the eight-ball in Pool A, and Jones knows they require a vastly-improved display.

And to compound matters, Samoa have lost goalkicker Gavin Williams with a hand injury after he scored all their points against South Africa and Tonga.

Jones said: "I would like to think that you would never see a 'cool' Samoa team ever again. It's something we've really had to address this week.

"That was the difference between winning and losing. It's not our normal style, and it has been a pretty painful week for us.

"We are all very clear on the significance of this game, and what it means in terms of what we represent in terms of our country, our families, all the good things we play for.

"If we get it wrong this week - we don't even want to think about that. The boys are excited, they're very bubbly and very focused.

"England are just as desperate as we are. They have their backs against the wall too, and will come out fired up.

"There is a typical England look to this team. At the last World Cup they were called Dad's Army and the geriatrics, but we've got a lot of respect for England and I think they have a lot of respect for us.

"They have a high regard for our players.''

Goalkicker Gavin Williams, who has scored all Samoa's points in the tournament so far, misses out after failing to recover from a finger injury.

Up front, Premiership players Census Johnston and Daniel Leo start at prop and blindside flanker respectively, in a side skippered by flanker Semo Sititi.

England: J Lewsey (Wasps), P Sackey (Wasps), M Tait (Newcastle), O Barkley (Bath), M Cueto (Sale Sharks), J Wilkinson (Newcastle), A Gomarsall (Harlequins), A Sheridan (Sale Sharks), G Chuter (Leicester), M Stevens (Bath), S Shaw (Wasps), B Kay (Leicester), M Corry (Leicester, capt), J Worsley (Wasps), N Easter (Harlequins).

Replacements: M Regan (Bristol), P Freshwater (Perpignan), S Borthwick (Bath), L Moody (Leicester), P Richards (London Irish), A Farrell (Saracens), D Hipkiss (Leicester).

Samoa: L Crichton (Worcester); D Lemi (Bristol), S Mapusua (London Irish); B Lima (Bristol), A Tuilagi (Leicester), E Fuimaono-Sapolu (Bath), J Polu (North Harbour); K Lealamanua (Dax), M Schwalger (Wellington Hurricanes), C Johnston (Saracens), J Tekori (Waitakere), K Thompson (Otago Highlanders), D Leo (Wasps), S Sititi (Docomo Kansai, capt), H Tuilagi (Perpignan).

Replacements: T Fuga (Harlequins), F Palaamo (Leeds), J Purdie (Wellington), A Vaeluaga (Bristol), S So'oialo (Harlequins), J Meafou (Scopa), L Lui (Moata'a).

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