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Courtney Lawes was on Tuesday included in England’s 23-man squad for Saturday’s Twickenham Test against world champions New Zealand as coach Stuart Lancaster promised to meet the All Blacks’ challenge “head-on”.


Northampton lock Lawes, who returned from a knee injury in the Saints’ Premiership win against London Welsh on Saturday, has replaced South African-born Mouritz Botha.

The only other change to England’s match-day 23 from last weekend’s 16-15 loss to South Africa was the inclusion of uncapped Gloucester outside-half Freddie Burns in place of the injured Toby Flood.

England are yet to beat one of the major southern hemisphere nations under Lancaster, having lost twice and drawn once on tour in South Africa before a 20-14 loss to Australia at Twickenham earlier this month preceded last Saturday’s loss to the Springboks.

Those recent defeats by the Wallabies and the Springboks, combined with the form of France, mean 2015 World Cup hosts England will not be among the top four seeds when the draw for the next global showpiece takes place on Monday, whatever happens at the weekend.

But Lancaster, buoyed by the way in which his forwards matched South Africa’s pack, was in bullish mood even though New Zealand will arrive at Twickenham on a 20-match unbeaten run following their 33-10 win over Wales last weekend and with a record of nine successive Test victories over England behind them.

“The message is clear – last week we went toe-to-toe with the second best team in the world and felt we should have won,” said Lancaster.

“Now we have a chance to take on the No 1 side in front of a passionate Twickenham crowd, who have been fantastic throughout the QBE internationals, and it is a challenge we will meet head on,” he added.

Lancaster is due to name his starting XV on Thursday, with Owen Farrell in line to replace Flood at flyhalf.


England’s 23-man squad to play New Zealand:

Backs (10): Chris Ashton (Saracens), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Freddie Burns (Gloucester), Danny Care (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Alex Goode (Saracens), Jonathan Joseph (London Irish) Manu Tuilagi (Leicester), Ben Youngs (Leicester)

Forwards (13): Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Dan Cole (Leicester), James Haskell (Wasps), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Ben Morgan (Gloucester), David Paice (London Irish), Geoff Parling (Leicester), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, captain), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), David Wilson (Bath), Tom Wood (Northampton), Tom Youngs (Leicester)

3 Responses to End Of Year Tours: England name 23-man squad to face the All Blacks

  • 1

    The Poms are going to get a snot klap.

  • 2

    IRB nominations for Player of the Year Award is a farce.

    How the heck did Farrell get nominated? This is the reason I don’t take these awards serious. Remember in 2009 when Fourie du Preez was robbed of winning the award? How McCaw got that award that year was shocking. McCaw as brilliant as he is, truly never deserved it that year. He should have got it the year before but not in 2009 it should have been Fourie. Now they nominate a player that has sat on the English bench? 😯 Good grief that makes these awards a laugh. If anything Reid should have been there and NOT Farrell. Would have had JPP there even if he never played the RC this year, WAY before Farrell. Or even Eben. Farrells selections is a mystery to me.

    Hope Freddy wins it.

    This from Super Sport


    Rugby | International Rugby

    Richie McCaw © Gallo Images

    McCaw in line for Player of the Year award


    28 November 2012, 19:48

    New Zealand captain Richie McCaw is in contention to win the IRB Player of the Year award for a fourth time after being included in a four-man shortlist for the 2012 prize.

    All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter also made the cut on Wednesday with two surprising entries – back-up England No 10 Owen Farrell and another flyhalf, the rejuvenated Frederic Michalak of France.

  • 3

    If they could select Freddy that never played in the 6 nations then surely JPP could have been nominated, he has been outstanding this year. He only missed the RC due to injury. So really how did they miss out not nominating JPP? Then Farrell gets nominated that has done nothing much. 🙄 JPP should have made up that list not Farrell. What a farce.

    Now really hope it is Fred that wins it.


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