Tag Archives: strettle

Six Nations 2013: England name team to play Ireland

Twelvetrees, Barritt, Haskell and Youngs all start for England in Ireland… (as Sportsmail predicted)

By
Rob Wildman

PUBLISHED:

10:15 GMT, 8 February 2013

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UPDATED:

10:19 GMT, 8 February 2013

We called it first…

Sportsmail's Chris Foy once again predicted England's line up correctly earlier this week

England confirmed this morning James Haskell will make his first in the Six Nations for two years when Stuart Lancaster’s team face Ireland, on Sunday, in Dublin.

The 27-year-old, who took himself off to play in Japan and New Zealand following England’s disastrous 2011 Rugby World Cup, starts at blindside flanker following the injury to Ben Morgan in last Saturday’s win over Scotland.

Tom Wood moves across to cover for Morgan at No 8 in a starting team which is otherwise unchanged from the one which beat Scotland 38-18.

Starting role: Haskell is given the nod at blindside with Wood moving to No 8

Starting role: Haskell is given the nod at blindside with Wood moving to No 8

ENGLAND (v Ireland, Dublin, Sunday, kick off 3pm):

Goode (Saracens);
Ashton (Saracens), Barritt (Saracens), Twelvetrees (Gloucester), Brown
(Harlequins); Farrell (Saracens), Ben Youngs (Leicester); Marler
(Harlequins), Tom Youngs (Leicester), Cole (Leicester), Launchbury
(Wasps), Parling (Leicester), Haskell (Wasps), Robshaw (Harlequins,
capt), Wood (Northampton).

Subs: Hartley (Northampton), Wilson (Bath), M Vunipola (Saracens), Lawes
(Northampton); Waldrom (Leicester), Care (Harlequins), Flood
(Leicester), Tuilagi (Leicester).

Haskell’s place on the bench from last week goes to Leicester’s Thomas Waldrom. Another new face among the reserves is centre Manu Tuilagi who takes over from David Strettle.

For head coach Lancaster, the biggest selection decision this week was whether to opt for fit-again Tuilagi over Billy Twelvetrees who had an impressive debut against Scotland.

But as predicted in Sportsmail this week he has opted to stay with the Gloucester player and Saracens’ Brad Barritt, leaving Tuilagi as an impact man to come off the bench. Lancaster has also decided to keep Tom Youngs at hooker ahead of Dylan Hartley.

For Haskell, who will be winning his 47th cap, it is vindication for his decision to return to England last spring and to rejoin his old club of Wasps.

Centre of attention: Barritt retains his place alongside Twelvetrees

Centre of attention: Barritt retains his place alongside Twelvetrees

His last start for England in the Six Nations came two years ago in the same game when Martin Johnson's team went to Dublin in search of a Grand Slam and lost.

Haskell, however, believes his world trip has made him a more ‘enriched person’ and spoke this week about a new mood in the England camp.

He said: ‘Running out to play for England is just as exciting as it ever was. I’ll keep playing for as long as they want me.’

Come in No 2: Tom Youngs starts ahead of Dylan Hartley at hooker

Come in No 2: Tom Youngs starts ahead of Dylan Hartley at hooker

Lancaster said he had made some difficult decisions. He explained: ‘With Manu coming back into the equation it gave us some selection decisions. But with the centres playing well last week and Manu still returning to match fitness, having not played for the last four weeks, he and others will give us great options from the bench in what I am sure will be a physical encounter.'

England also announced that they would be taking 24 players to Ireland for Sunday’s match as Sale’s uncapped prop Henry Thomas will act as travelling reserve.

Saracens 32 Sale 12: David Strettle stars to storm back into England reckoning

Saracens 32 Sale 12: Strettle stars for Sarries to storm back into England reckoning

By
Rob Wildman

PUBLISHED:

18:25 GMT, 6 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:44 GMT, 6 January 2013

Forgotten wing David Strettle fired Saracens to success over struggling Sale in the absence of England full back Alex Goode, who is now an injury doubt for the Six Nations.

Goode missed Saracens’ final Aviva Premiership match at Vicarage Road with a shoulder injury picked up three weeks ago against Munster.

Mark McCall, Saracens director of rugby, said Goode needs another two or three weeks of rehabilitation before he is likely to play again.

ar: Strettle scores Saracens' first try

Star: Strettle scores Saracens' first try

He said: ‘At the minute we are looking at the non-surgical route but it all depends on how his rehab goes.

‘If he makes the progress they (the
medics) hope, he’s got a great chance of making the Six Nations, but
England may want him to play a game or two.’

Goode could yet be joined in the England squad by Strettle, who lost his place last summer due to a hernia operation.

Owen Farrell is favourite for England's no.10 shirt after Flood was cited for an alleged tip tackle

Spot on: Owen Farrell is favourite for England's no.10 shirt after Toby Flood was cited for an alleged tip tackle

ENGLAND WATCH

Stuart Lancaster has no worries about the goal-kicking of Owen Farrell, who scored 22 points.

Eight from eight kicks took his Premiership ‘hot streak’ to 20.

He also weathered the attempts of Sale’s heavyweight centres Johnny Leota and Sam Tuitupou to power past him.

England centre Brad Barritt had another solid match and provided the pass for David Strettle’s try.

McCall hopes his decision to switch Strettle to the left wing might prompt a return to the squad to be announced on Wednesday.

McCall said: ‘David has really
relished the chance to play on the left wing and England don’t have any
out-and-out natural left wingers.’

Strettle showed his try-scoring
ability here by breaking through a stubborn Sale defence in the 62nd
minute of a match dominated until then by the goal-kicking of Owen
Farrell and Danny Cipriani.

Saracens finally cracked the Sale
midfield by using Farrell and substitute Charlie Hodgson as decoy
runners, which allowed Brad Barritt to put Strettle in the clear.

Sale's James Gaskell tries to break through the midfield

Scrap: Sale's James Gaskell tries to break through the midfield

Strettle also delivered the final act
by neatly placing a grubber kick through the Sale defence for Hodgson
to score the second try 10 minutes from time.

Saracens moved second, two points behind Harlequins.

James Haskell misses out on England squad place

Haskell misses out on England squad place with Croft and Wood set to recover from injury

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UPDATED:

19:54 GMT, 5 July 2012

James Haskell, who played in England’s last Test against South Africa, has lost out on a senior squad place for next season.

Haskell was called into the tour party because of injuries and was praised by England head coach Stuart Lancaster.

He ended the trip in the team for the
first time since the World Cup campaign, but Lancaster has placed the
flanker in the reserve squad.

Missing out: Haskell

Missing out: Haskell

Haskell, who returns to Wasps in
September after playing in Japan and New Zealand, has lost out because first-choice back rowers Tom Wood and Tom Croft are expected to be fit
for the four autumn internationals.

Saracens wing David Strettle,
Northampton prop Paul Doran-Jones and Harlequins wing Ugo Monye are also
left out despite going to South Africa.

Lancaster has named a 32-man party who will train with a Saxons squad at Loughborough University next month.

However, he stressed: ‘There is
always movement which opens the door for players and I am sure next
season will be no different.’

Meanwhile, England World Cup winner Neil Back is to be forwards coach at Edinburgh following his decision to leave Rugby Lions.

Back joined the National League team last season after quitting Leeds when they were relegated from the Aviva Premiership.

Northampton have signed Wasps centre Dominic Waldouck.

George Lowe ruled out of remainder of South Africa tour

Crocked Lowe out of South Africa tour with ankle injury

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UPDATED:

14:01 GMT, 16 June 2012

Harlequins back George Lowe is to return home from England's tour of South Africa due to an ankle ligament injury.

Gloucester's Jonny May has been called up as a replacement and will join up with the squad in Johannesburg this morning.

Lowe, 22, was forced off early in the second half of an England XV's 54-26 win over the Southern Barbarians in Kimberley on Wednesday.

End of the road: Crocked Lowe has been forced to return home

End of the road: Crocked Lowe has been forced to return home

He had earlier scored one of England's eight tries having been included in the side as a late replacement for David Strettle, who was rested ahead of the second Test against South Africa.

He will now return home for further medical assessment after undergoing a scan. May, 22, flew out to South Africa overnight.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster said: 'It's a shame for George because he had a good game against the Southern Barbarians until he was injured. “But this is an opportunity for another young player who has come up through our age grade programme and into the Saxons to gain some valuable international tour experience.'

Over the line: Lowe scored one of eight tries for England on Wednesday

Over the line: Lowe scored one of eight tries for England on Wednesday

Lowe follows two other players in having his tour ended prematurely.

Full-back Mike Brown was ruled out after suffering a thumb ligament injury in last week's first Test and was replaced by Nick Abendanon.

Forward Joe Launchbury returned home before the first game with a knee injury. Jamie Gibson took his place in the squad.

England coach Stuart Lancaster defends decision to ditch Owen Farrell

Gambler Lancaster defends decision to ditch Farrell for second Test

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UPDATED:

20:56 GMT, 14 June 2012

Stuart Lancaster has rejected suggestions that his overhaul of
the England back line represents a 'radical' gamble, after confirming
the recall of Toby Flood in place of Owen Farrell and a full Test debut
for Jonathan Joseph.

As revealed in yesterday's Sportsmail, the No 10 shirt has been passed
from the off-colour Saracens rookie Farrell to Leicester's
Flood, the most-capped player in this England touring squad, for
tomorrow's pivotal second encounter with the Springboks at Ellis Park.

All change: Flood (left) is in while Farrell (right) misses out

All change: Flood (left) is in while Farrell (right) misses out

All change: Flood (left) is in while Farrell (right) misses out

We told you first…

Sportsmail's Chris Foy reveals Lancaster's plans to drop Farrell

Further changes behind the scrum see Manu Tuilagi shift to inside centre to form a new midfield partnership with London Irish sensation Jonathan Joseph, while David Strettle returns to the starting XV on the wing.

There is a clear sense of Lancaster and his assistant coaches, Graham Rowntree and Mike Catt, showing their full hand here with a bold selection designed to ignite the national team's attacking game with youthful vigour.

The pairing of Tuilagi and Joseph is a positive move, audacious even, but Lancaster was adamant that it is not a step too far.

'I've never been afraid to trust my instincts and trust the instincts of the other coaches,' he said. 'If you'd sat down at the end of the World Cup and tried to pick the team that would play against Scotland (at the start of the Six Nations) most people would have said, “That is a pretty radical selection”.

'We have never been afraid to do that if we are confident in the players, so I wouldn't describe it as radical. Opportunities have been presented due to injury. We have to learn about the players and see if they can step up to the highest level.'

Owen going: Farrell has made changes to his team for the second Test

Owen going: Farrell has made changes to his team for the second Test

Much of the focus inevitably falls on the change at stand-off, where
Flood returns after a strong impact as a replacement during last
weekend's defeat in Durban. Being dropped to the bench is a setback for
Farrell, but Lancaster claimed the 20-year-old has reacted in a way that
suggests it will be a temporary hitch.

ENGLAND TEAM v SOUTH AFRICA

B Foden; C Ashton, J Joseph, M Tuilagi, D Strettle; T Flood, B
Youngs; J Marler, D Hartley, D Cole; M Botha, G Parling (Leicester); T
Johnson (Exeter), B Morgan, C Robshaw (capt).

Subs: L Mears, A
Corbisiero, T Palmer, P Dowson, L Dickson, O Farrell, A Goode.

'He took the news in an extremely professional way,' said the head
coach. 'He's trained fantastically well since and has been an example of
how a player should treat a disappointment and respond. The reality is
that we've not dropped him out of the 22 so there's a very good chance
he will play a big part as the game goes on.

'I sat down with him at the start of the week to tell him the news, then
I gave him 24 hours to think about our conversation and had another sit
down. His question to me was, “What do you think I need to work on
going into this Test”.

'I'm not going to talk publicly about that but his strengths far outweigh the areas that need developing.
'I think it is important to remember this time a year ago Owen was
playing in the Premiership final and the Under 20 World Cup Final. He
has got a fantastic future ahead of him.'

Assessing what Flood will offer in his first start since the World Cup,
Lancaster added: 'Toby plays flat to the line, kicks well, moves
defences around and that's what I hope he'll bring to the game.'

Flood alert: Toby is in as Farrell drops down to the bench

Flood alert: Toby is in as Farrell drops down to the bench

Flood alert: Toby is in as Farrell drops down to the bench

The theory behind the centre switch is to employ a gainline- busting,
off-loading 12 and a sharp, nimble, astute 13 capable of making outside
breaks. Tuilagi will be away from his familiar position, but there is a
positive omen for England as the Samoan-born centre wore the No 12 shirt
when the Tigers beat the touring Springboks at Welford Road in
November, 2009.

'/06/14/article-2159170-13870D5F000005DC-172_634x421.jpg” width=”634″ height=”421″ alt=”Best foot forward: Farrell kicked four penalties in Durban” class=”blkBorder” />

Best foot forward: Farrell kicked four penalties in Durban

Stuart Lancaster defends decision drop Owen Farrell

Lancaster defends decision to ditch Farrell as England coach shakes up squad ahead of second Test

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UPDATED:

10:59 GMT, 14 June 2012

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has defended his decision to drop fly-half Owen Farrell for Saturday's second Test against South Africa in Johannesburg.

After defeat in the first Test in Durban last weekend, Lancaster has revamped his backs by recalling Toby Flood in an attempt to level the three-match series.

Sportsmail's Chris Foy brought you the exclusive news of the shake-up ahead of Englad's second Test which sees Flood's inclusion at number 10 as one of three personnel changes for the clash at Coca-Cola Park.

All change: Flood (left) is in while Farrell (right) misses out

All change: Flood (left) is in while Farrell (right) misses out

All change: Flood (left) is in while Farrell (right) misses out

We told you first…

Sportsmail's Chris Foy reveals Lancaster's plans to drop Farrell

The 26-year-old will win his 49th cap and be reunited with his Leicester team-mate Ben Youngs in the halves.

Lancaster said: 'Owen has had a fantastic season and I am sure he will make a significant impact from the bench.

'However, Toby has waited patiently for his opportunity and the time is right to allow him the chance to demonstrate his experience and skills in what will be a very tough challenge.'

Jonathan Joseph is also being handed his first start at outside centre and wing David Strettle returns while Manu Tuilagi moves inside to take over from the injured Brad Barritt.

Strettle plays on the left wing with Ben Foden reverting to his preferred position of full-back following the loss of Mike Brown for the rest of the series with a thumb injury.

Farrell, who was unconvincing in Durban despite kicking four penalties, must make do with a place on the bench.

Owen going: Farrell has made changes to his team for the second Test

Owen going: Farrell has made changes to his team for the second Test

Saracens full-back Alex Goode, who was withdrawn at half-time in the midweek match against the Southern Barbarians, is also handed a place among the replacements.

There are no changes in the forwards but prop Alex Corbisiero, fit again after biceps and knee problems, is a replacement.

The decision to axe Farrell, Lancaster's only unforced changed, is the most eye-catching after the 20-year-old excelled in the RBS 6 Nations earlier this year.

Yet while England showed spirit and endeavour in their narrow 22-17 first Test loss, it was felt the team lacked spark.

Flood, who missed the end of the domestic season through injury, brought added impetus from the bench and he will now have the chance to do that from the start.

Joseph, 21, shone in a brief cameo at Kings Park and gets his opportunity as Barritt recovers from surgery to repair a lacerated eyeball.

Flood alert: Toby is in as Farrell drops down to the bench

Flood alert: Toby is in as Farrell drops down to the bench

Flood alert: Toby is in as Farrell drops down to the bench

Brown's injury ends Lancaster's experiment of playing Foden on the wing but his back-three partnership with Strettle, now recovered from a calf strain, and Chris Ashton was solid in the Six Nations.

Lancaster said: 'I am delighted for JJ. He has trained very well and showed against the Barbarians and in his short time on the field in the first Test that he is ready to make the step to international rugby.

'To have two 21-year-old centres is exciting and we are looking forward to seeing this combination in action.'

The selections of Flood and Joseph are bold ones and hooker Dylan Hartley feels England must take the game to the Springboks this weekend.

Hartley said: 'Last week we didn't play as much as we would have liked to and in the second half we defended for a lot of it. You can't really win games defending all the time.

'We need to take our chances. We can't keep coming out here and playing safe all the time, although you can't take too many risks.

'It is going to be another tough challenge in the heights of Johannesburg but I think we are all looking forward to it.'

Best foot forward: Farrell kicked four penalties in Durban

Best foot forward: Farrell kicked four penalties in Durban

England winger David Strettle in the frame for second Test

England winger Strettle in line to face Springboks after missing tour match

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UPDATED:

13:51 GMT, 13 June 2012

Passed fit: David Strettle

Passed fit: David Strettle

England withdrew wing David Strettle
from their tour match against the Southern Barbarians on Wednesday,
fuelling speculation over their line-up for this weekend's second Test.

Strettle missed the first Test defeat
by South Africa in Durban last weekend with a calf injury but had been
included in the side to face the composite team in Kimberley.

It was thought the game at GWK Park
might be an opportunity for the Saracens back to prove his fitness, but a
team note from the Rugby Football Union suggested he was already in
good shape.

It read:
'Strettle has been removed from the line-up to offer selection options
ahead of Saturday's second Test against South Africa.'

England must make two changes in their back line for the second Test in
Johannesburg after losing full-back Mike Brown and centre Brad Barritt
to injury.

A vacancy could
arise on the wing if head coach Stuart Lancaster decides to switch Ben
Foden from out wide to his preferred full-back position.

Ugo Monye offers another wing option while Alex Goode, who was due to
face the Southern Barbarians, could be an alternative full-back.

Centre Jonathan Joseph could earn a first start in Barritt's place,
although he could play outside centre if Manu Tuilagi moves inside, or
even to the wing.

There are other permutations depending on whether Owen Farrell is moved from fly-half.

Lancaster is due to announce his team on Thursday.

George Lowe started in Strettle's place against the Southern Barbarians with Phil Dowson added to the bench.

Kids play: Strettle takes a coaching session for children

Kids play: Strettle takes a coaching session for children

All members of the England touring party made the one-hour flight from Johannesburg to watch the tour match in the diamond mining town of Kimberley.

Prior to the match, the members of the Test side not playing all participated in a coaching clinic with around 200 children from local schools, none of whom had played rugby before.

Winger Chris Ashton said: 'I have come here today to watch the lads play later and do a bit of coaching.

'You don't get many better things out of rugby than watching kids like this learning and taking the first steps playing rugby.'

Ashton felt the clinic was a nice distraction from the pressures of the Test series. The 25-year-old said: 'It was a pretty tough test. Unfortunately we didn't win – the third quarter let us down and that is something we need to concentrate on.

'But it is a day off today, so just to get out of the hotel and do something different is great.'

Danny Care and James Haskell start for England

Care and Haskell given chance to impress as Lancaster rings changes for tour match

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UPDATED:

14:55 GMT, 11 June 2012

England will field a completely changed side in their tour match against South Africa's Southern Barbarians in Kimberley on Wednesday.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster will rest most of the side beaten by South Africa in the opening Test on Saturday and give the other members of his squad a chance to impress.

Flanker James Haskell, who has not played for England since last year's World Cup, is given an opportunity after not being considered for the first Test in Durban.

Chance to impress: Lancaster and Care relax during training on Monday

Chance to impress: Lancaster and Care relax during training on Monday

England team to face Sourthern Barbarians in tour match at GWK Park, Kimberley, on Wednesday, June 13:

A Goode (Saracens); D Strettle (Saracens), A Allen (Leicester), J Turner-Hall (Harlequins), C Wade (London Wasps); C Hodgson (Saracens), D Care (Harlequins); M Mullan (Worcester), J Gray (Harlequins), P Doran Jones (Northampton), G Kitchener (Leicester), G Robson (Harlequins, capt), J Haskell (Otago Highlanders), C Fearns (Bath), T Waldrom (Leicester).

Replacements: T Youngs (Leicester), R Harden (Gloucester), T Palmer (Stade Francais), J Gibson (London Irish), L Dickson (Northampton), G Lowe (Harlequins), N Abendanon (Bath).

The 27-year-old only linked up with the squad last week after completing domestic commitments in New Zealand and it was felt the tour's first midweek game was a more realistic first chance to play.

Scrum-half Danny Care will also start at GWK Park as he bids to resurrect his international career.

The 25-year-old Harlequins back was dropped for the RBS 6 Nations earlier this year after a series of off-field incidents.

Wing David Strettle, who missed the first Test with a calf injury, is given a chance to prove his fitness ahead of the second clash with the Springboks in Johannesburg next weekend.

High hopes: Haskell is looking to work his way back into England's side

High hopes: Haskell is looking to work his way back into England's side

Prop Alex Corbisiero, whose return after
a biceps operation has been delayed by a jarred knee, is not included
in Wednesday's team.

Bath's Nick Abendanon, called up to the squad as replacement for the injured Mike Brown, has been named among the substitutes.

Prop Paul Doran Jones, who came off the bench in the 22-17 loss at Kings Park on Saturday, will start at tighthead. Tom Palmer and Lee Dickson, who also had replacements' roles at the weekend, will again be on the bench.

Harlequins' uncapped lock George Robson will captain the side.
Lancaster said: 'Every one of the 22 is desperate to play.

Handing over the reins: Robson (left) takes over the captaincy from Chris Robshaw (right)

Handing over the reins: Robson (left) takes over the captaincy from Chris Robshaw (right)

'They have trained superbly and their attitude while waiting for their chance has been first class.

'There is a lot of competition for places across the board and Wednesday gives these players a chance to lay down a marker and for the whole squad to build some momentum towards Saturday's Test.

'George (Robson) has had a tremendous season for Harlequins and has made a great contribution to this tour already, both in training and as part of the leadership group, and I know he will captain the team well.

'Only Ugo Monye and Alex Corbisiero will not have had any game time by the end of Wednesday but there will still be three matches to go and their opportunity will come.'

Exclusive: England will turn to Marler, the first of the Mohicans, to face South Africa

Exclusive: England will turn to Marler, the first of the Mohicans, to face South Africa

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UPDATED:

21:16 GMT, 6 June 2012

Joe Marler went cage-diving at the local aquarium but on Saturday the Harlequins prop will be pitched into a drier but more dangerous Shark Tank as he makes his Test debut for England.

The Kings Park stadium in this city by the Indian Ocean has acquired that nickname as the home of the Natal Sharks Super 15 side. That is the forbidding arena where Marler must prove that for all his outlandish Mohican hair-style, he is a young prop of sufficient substance to stand up to the might of South Africa’s formidable pack.

There have been encouraging signs of progress in his scrummaging to complement ample skill in the loose, but that set-piece improvement must be in evidence against opponents who prioritise that staple of the game.

Hair apparent: Joe Marler's strong game in the loose and improving scrummaging has earned him a Test debut

Hair apparent: Joe Marler's strong game in the loose and improving scrummaging has earned him a Test debut

Head coach Stuart Lancaster will name the rookie loosehead in place of Alex Corbisiero, who is still recovering from a biceps operation, in a reshuffled side featuring another Test newcomer, Exeter flanker Tom Johnson.

How they line up

He will start at blindside on the back of a superb display against the Barbarians at the end of last month and in the enforced absence of established No 6s Tom Croft and Tom Wood. Johnson has been chosen ahead of James Haskell, who has considerable experience but is still settling in after his arrival from New Zealand, where he has been playing for Otago Highlanders.

Lancaster and his assistants, Graham Rowntree and Mike Catt, have settled on a new-look back-three in light of David Strettle’s inability to train due to a lingering injury.

With the Saracens wing out of the equation for now, Ben Foden has been shifted out wide to make room for Mike Brown of Harlequins to cap a sensational season at club level by reclaiming the England No 15 shirt.

Elevation: Mike Brown (centre) will start as full back

Elevation: Mike Brown (centre) will start as full back

The 26-year-old has been recalled to the starting XV on the strength of his consistently accomplished form during Quins’ record-breaking, title-winning campaign in the Aviva Premiership, but also because he offers a left-footed kicking option and is another player at ease under the high ball.

In all, there are four changes to the XV who lined up for the Six Nations finale against Ireland at Twickenham which ended in a rousing 30-9 victory for the hosts.

Ben Youngs will be reinstated at scrum-half, ahead of Lee Dickson, with the Northampton No 9 to be included among the replacements. Despite his electric form for Quins in the latter part of the season, Danny Care is being made to show patience and persistence in his quest to win back his place.

Although Youngs has played so much of his best international rugby when in tandem with his Leicester half-back partner Toby Flood, the No 10 who is England’s most experienced player will have to bide his time as Owen Farrell is once again picked at fly-half.

Reinstated: Ben Youngs will be at scrum-half

Reinstated: Ben Youngs will be at scrum-half

After an off-key display against the Barbarians, the coaches will be closely scrutinising his contribution in open play, seeking signs of greater assurance and authority. What they will expect is that the young Saracen can punish any Springbok indiscretions with reliable goal-kicking.

Outside Farrell will be the familiar and reassuring figure of Brad Barritt, who will relish a return to his home city and the stadium where he played many times for the Sharks.

He will provide the defensive ballast while Manu Tuilagi’s primary objective at outside centre will be to generate attacking momentum with his strong running in midfield.

Up front, Ben Morgan has recovered from a hamstring injury to retain his place at No 8 alongside Johnson and captain Chris Robshaw. Mouritz Botha is the other South Africa-born player in England’s starting ranks for this game, while Geoff Parling will be charged with orchestrating the destruction of the Boks’ previously-renowned lineout.

Sink or swim Geoff Parling will play in the first Test

Sink or swim Geoff Parling will play in the first Test

Completing the pack are the established pair of Dylan Hartley and Dan Cole at hooker and tighthead prop.

While there are several Test rookies in this England side for such a daunting assignment, South Africa have a callow look too, with three debutant forwards — locks Juandre Kruger and Eben Etzebeth, and flanker Marcell Coetzee.

Yet, Etzebeth is particularly highly regarded as an abrasive ‘enforcer’ in the Bakkies Botha mould and Heyneke Meyer, the Boks coach, said that the 20-year-old from Cape Town could be even better than the notorious hard man whose shoes he is trying to fill.

Christian Wade starts for England against Barbarians

Wade gets his chance: Wasps winger given Baa-Baas opportunity ahead of Springboks tour

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UPDATED:

10:24 GMT, 25 May 2012

Christian Wade will get a chance to press his claims for the Test series against South Africa after being named in a strong England team to face the Barbarians.

The exciting Wasps wing has been selected ahead of David Strettle and is the only member of the England back division who did not feature in the RBS 6 Nations.

Wade finished second in the Aviva Premiership try-scoring charts this season – touching down nine times in 15 games – despite missing three months of the campaign through injury.

Chance to shine: Christan Wade has been named in the England starting XV

Chance to shine: Christan Wade has been named in the England starting XV

ENGLAND SQUAD:

B Foden (Northampton Saints); C Ashton (Northampton Saints), B Barritt (Saracens), O Farrell (Saracens), C Wade (London Wasps); C Hodgson (Saracens), L Dickson (Northampton Saints); M Stevens (Saracens), D Hartley (Northampton Saints), P Doran Jones (Northampton Saints), M Botha (Saracens), T Palmer (Stade Francais), T Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), C Fearns (Bath Rugby), P Dowson (Northampton Saints, capt).

Replacements: L Mears (Bath Rugby), M Mullan (Worcester Warriors), J Launchbury (London Wasps), J Gibson (London Irish), R Wigglesworth (Saracens), J Joseph (London Irish), A Goode (Saracens).

England coach Stuart Lancaster is without his 18-strong Leicester and Harlequins contingent, who meet in the Premiership final on Saturday.

Charlie Hodgson returns to fly-half, where he started the Six Nations, and Owen Farrell reverts to inside centre with Brad Barritt shifting to outside centre.

Lee Dickson continues at scrum-half with full-back Ben Foden and wing Chris Ashton completing England's near full-strength back division.

Up front, Dylan Hartley starts at hooker in his first game back after serving an eight-week ban for biting Stephen Ferris in England's Six Nations victory over Ireland in March.

Hartley will be propped by Matt Stevens, who starts on the loosehead side, and Paul Doran-Jones while Mouritz Botha and Tom Palmer pack down in the second row.

Uncapped flankers Carl Fearns and Tom Johnson start in the back row either side of captain Phil Dowson.

Unlike the Welsh Rugby Union, England do not award caps for games against the Barbarians – but Lancaster views it is a vital preparation for the forthcoming five-match, three-Test tour.

And for a player like Wade, it is an early opportunity to prove he is ready for a first Test cap against the Springboks.

Leader: Phil Dowson steps in as captain for the game in the absence of Chris Robshaw

Leader: Phil Dowson steps in as captain for the game in the absence of Chris Robshaw

'We are treating this as a very important game for setting the foundations for the tour,” Lancaster said.

'The players have been excellent this week and have been fully focussed as we are looking to build on the momentum of the Six Nations.

'This is a really important milestone in our preparation for South Africa.

'With the Leicester and Harlequins players unavailable it's a great opportunity for those other players involved in the Six Nations to lead the way.

Tough summer: Stuart Lancaster has to pick a squad for the summer tour to South Africa

Tough summer: Stuart Lancaster has to pick a squad for the summer tour to South Africa

'Some of the younger players have a chance to put a marker down and get their first taste of international rugby such as Christian Wade on the wing, Joe Launchbury, Alex Goode and Jonathan Joseph on the bench.

'Being able to name a back line very similar to the Six Nations and the strength we have in the forwards with the likes of Tom Johnson and Carl Fearns, who played in this game last year, is a real positive.'

With Manu Tuilagi on Premiership final duty, England have returned to the Hodgson-Farrell-Barritt combination that started the Six Nations.

Toby Flood's availability for the tour remains uncertain, although things are expected to become clearer later today when Leicester name their team for the final.