Five changes for England ahead of second All Blacks Test

Getty Images     13 Jun 2014     Getty Images

With 15 new players available from Aviva Premiership finalists Northampton Saints and Saracens, head coach Stuart Lancaster makes four changes to his back division. Luther Burrell starts at No.13 alongside Billy Twelvetrees, who has recovered from an end of season ankle injury to resume their RBS 6 Nations partnership.

Scrum half Danny Care has also recovered from the shoulder injury which ruled him out of the 20-15 first Test defeat at Eden Park and plays alongside fly half Owen Farrell, replacing benched Ben Youngs and Freddie Burns.

Marland Yarde switches wings to the left in the overhauled backline to accommodate Tuliagi – England’s most effective carrier in the defeat in Auckland – on the other flank. Centre Kyle Eastmond and wing Jonny may drop out of the match day 23.

There is only one change in the starting pack; Tom Wood replacing James Haskell at blindside flanker. Hooker Rob Webber, lock Geoff Parling and Ben Morgan keep their shirts despite the notable presences of Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Billy Vunipola, who all come onto the bench.

Uncapped tight-head prop Kieran Brookes makes his first appearance on the bench too, replacing Henry Thomas.

Speaking about the intense competition for places with a squad of 46 players in New Zealand, Lancaster said: “It’s been evident in training all along just how intense competition for places is but especially now we have the guys who arrived at the end of last week.

“We knew selection for this Test was always going to be extra tough with the players who played at Eden Park putting their hands up and those who watched from the stands.

“We believe that this is a team which can level the series in Dunedin but we are also conscious that there are two Tests and a significant game against the Crusaders left on this tour and we will use those opportunities to test the whole squad.”

Paying tribute those of this first Test team to miss out and pointing out Tuilagi’s experience on the wing in age-grade rugby, Lancaster added:“Kyle, James, Jonny, Ben and Freddie did a great job and deserve a huge amount of credit and now the pressure is on those now starting and coming on to the bench to raise the bar even higher.

“Manu played all his England age-grade rugby on the wing and has trained well there for us so we are confident that he can bring his skill set to that position.

“We’re also delighted that Kieran Brookes has the opportunity to win his first cap off the bench as yet another example of someone coming through our Under 20 programme into the senior team.”

England team to face New Zealand
15 Mike Brown (Harlequins, 27 caps)
14 Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 23 caps)
13 Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints, 5 caps)
12 Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby, 2 caps)
11 Marland Yarde (London Irish, 3 caps)
10 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 24 caps)
9 Danny Care (Harlequins, 47 caps)
1 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 20 caps)
2 Rob Webber (Bath Rugby, 6 caps)
3 David Wilson (Bath Rugby, 35 caps)
4 Joe Launchbury (London Wasps, 20 caps)
5 Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers, 20 caps)
6 Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 28 caps)
7 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt, 26 caps)
8 Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby, 21 caps)


16 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 55 caps)
17 Matt Mullan (London Wasps, 3 caps)
18 Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons, uncapped)
19 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 10 caps)
20 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 8 caps)
21 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 36 caps)
22 Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby, 4 caps)
23 Chris Ashton (Saracens, 37 caps)