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Alex Corbisiero

Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess will make his England debut at centre when Stuart Lancaster’s side host France on Saturday.

The former Great Britain rugby league player is one of three debutants, with centre Henry Slade and flanker Calum Clark the other new faces in the 15.

Head coach Lancaster says Saturday’s match is the final chance for some of his players to impress before he selects his 31-man World Cup squad.

“The following week we’ll probably change a lot,” he said

Burgess, 26, started his union career in midfield for Bath before switching to the back row.

Former England scrumhalf Matt Dawson has questioned Burgess’s “game-management” at inside centre, but Lancaster described the former South Sydney player, who switched codes last October, as a ball carrier who could threaten the gain line.

“It’s an option for us to look at and it’ll be an interesting insight to see whether it goes well at the weekend or not,” he said.

“It’s about what’s right for the team. We’ll see if he can translate what he does in training and see how it goes.”

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EnglandAlex CorbisieroTom YoungsTom CroftBritish and Irish Lions forwards Alex Corbisiero, Tom Croft and Tom Youngs will miss England’s forthcoming tour of New Zealand.

Croft and Corbisiero have recently returned to full fitness but are not yet considered ready for what is set to be a gruelling three-Test series against the world champion All Blacks.

Meanwhile Leicester hooker Youngs will miss the June campaign to help support his wife, who is having treatment for an illness.

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LondonIrishLondon Irish are set to announce a takeover of the club by a group of Irish businessmen on Thursday. The club have called a news conference at their training ground in Sunbury for 10:30 GMT, where they will announce further details of the takeover.

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British & Irish Lions 2013Scotland prop Ryan Grant has been called into the British and Irish Lions squad ahead of the clash with Queensland Reds.  The Glasgow loose-head had been in South Africa with Scotland for a quadrangular tournament.

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British & Irish Lions 2013Mixed news for the British and Irish Lions of 2013 for this week, with the injured Cian Healy cited for biting whereas his replacement for the Tour has been named and called up, Alex Corbisiero.

Not only is Cian Healy injured, having injured his ankle against the Western Force, bit there is the serious allegation that he has bitten Brett Sheehan in the same match.

What needs clarification is how the British and Irish Lions can call up a replacement for Healy if he is going to be banned after facing the Judicial Hearing, yet Alex Corbisiero has been called up as a replacement for Healy already.

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