Stuart Lancaster names side to face Fiji


Stuart Lancaster has named his England side to face Fiji and as predicted he has handed Tom Youngs his debut with Mako Vunipola and Joe Launchbury likely to make theirs from the bench.

In all there are five changes from the third Test in South Africa, and one positional change, with Manu Tuilagi switching back to outside centre.

Both wings have changed with the injured Ben Foden and suspended Chris Ashton replaced by Ugo Monye and Charlie Sharples, while injury has also struck Jonathan Joseph, bringing Brad Barritt back into the fold.

In the forwards Captain Chris Robshaw returns in place of James Haskell who drops out of the squad altogether, while the injured Dylan Hartley is replaced by debutant Youngs.

It will be a proud day in the Youngs family as the third member of what is now becoming a bit of a dynasty, receives his first cap. Father Nick won 6 caps for England in the eighties, while Tom’s brother Ben has won 24 from the same position and will be on the bench on Saturday.

For Tom Youngs it has been a bit of a fairytale journey, originally a centre, Youngs was called over by then Leicester Coach Heyneke Meyer three years ago and told that he had the potential to be a hooker. Youngs jumped at the chance with barely a second thought.

A loan spell at Nottingham followed, where he was acquainted with some of the challenges of front row before a return to Leicester. With only ten games at hooker for the Tigers though, Youngs is very much on the fast track and still has a few areas to iron, such as his lineout throwing. What is not in doubt though is that tomorrow will represent a very proud day indeed for the Youngs family – it’s not every day that two of your sons play at Twickenham.

Youngs is not the only debutant hooker on show this weekend though, with Ireland also announcing their test squad for their game against South Africa. Leinster’s Richardt Strauss will be making his debut after completing his residency, and in a quirk of modern rugby will be facing opposite his cousin Adriaan Strauss, who starts for the Springboks.

Having been ravaged by injuries to key players in O’Driscoll, O’Connell, Kearney, Best, O’Brien and Ferris, Ireland name a fairly inexperienced side, with Jamie Heaslip captaining his country for the first time.

England vs Fiji:

15. Alex Goode (Saracens), 14. Charlie Sharples (Gloucester), 13. Manu Tuilagi (Leicester), 12. Brad Barritt (Saracens), 10. Toby Flood (Leicester), 9. Danny Care (Harlequins).

1. Joe Marler (Harlequins), 2. Tom Youngs (Leicester), 3. Dan Cole (Leciester), 4. Tom Palmer (Wasps), Geoff Parling (Leicester), 6. Tom Johnson (Exeter), 7. Chris Robshaw (Captain, Harlequins), 8. Thomas Waldrom.


16. David Paice (London Irish), 17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens), 18. David Wilson (Bath), 19. Joe Launchbury (Wasps), 20. Tom Wood (Northampton), 21. Ben Youngs (Leicester), 22. Owen Farrell (Saracens), 23. Mike Brown (Harlequins).

Ireland vs South Africa:

15. S Zebo, 14. T Bowe, 13. K Earls, 12. G D’Arcy, 11. A Trimble, 10. J Sexton, 9. C Murray; 1. C Healy, 2. R Strauss, 3. M Ross, 4. D Ryan, 5. M McCarthy, 6. P O’Mahony, 7. C Henry, 8. J Heaslip (captain).


16. D Kilcoyne, 17. M Bent, 18. S Cronin, 19. D O’Callaghan, 20. I Henderson, 21. E Reddan, 22. R O’Gara, 23. F McFadden.

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