Stuart Lancaster has explained and defended his decisions to drop George Ford and start Owen Farrell and Sam Burgess in England's game against Wales

Stuart Lancaster insists he is not taking any risks by selecting either Owen Farrell or Sam Burgess in his side to face Wales on Saturday.

The England coach made the decision to drop George Ford to the bench to make room for Farrell, while Ford’s Bath teammate Burgess lines up at inside-centre.

Lancaster says Farrell’s selection shows the depth England have in the fly-half position, with the Saracens man having pushed Ford for the starting role since the Aviva Premiership final.

As for Burgess, Lancaster hopes the Rugby League convert can translate his form in training and as a substitute in the win over Fiji into a strong performance from the start against Wales.

“It is not a gamble. People said it was a gamble to put him in the 31-man squad but day by day, week by week, he is proving people wrong,” Lancaster said in Thursday’s press conference.

“In full-on games in training he’s had to defend against Jonathan Joseph, Henry Slade and Brad (Barritt) and I’ve watched him day in, day out doing that.

“I’m certain he can deal with the big game experience and I’m certain he can carry the ball over the gain line.

“My confidence in him has grown. We scored two tries at the end of the Fiji game and they were a lot to do with Owen and Sam.”