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Lawes returns for England & Burns is included

Courtney Lawes will be back in an England shirt to face the All Blacks this weekend, for the first time since the 6 Nations after a horrible run of injuries saw him miss the South Africa tour and the first three QBE Internationals.

Joining Lawes in the matchday 23 will be Freddie Burns, the Gloucester fly half who has been the star of the Aviva Premiership this season. Burns comes in after Toby Flood was released back to his club with a toe injury, meaning the Gloucester man is likely to earn his first cap off the bench with Owen Farrell starting.

In all, England have released 11 players back to their clubs, Tom Biggs and Nick Wood who joined the squad as injury cover go back as do Mouritz Botha, Lee Dickson, Tom Johnson, Tom Palmer, Charlie Sharples, Jordan Turner-Hall and Thomas Waldrom.

Wood’s return to Gloucester suggests that Alex Corbisiero will recover from his knee problem in time for the game, though he did miss training on Tuesday.

Stuart Lancaster is expected to name the same forward pack as played South Africa to face the All Blacks, though the backline is expected to change a little.

At fly half there will obviously be a change due to Flood’s injury, Owen Farrell is expected to start as a starting debut against New Zealand is seen as a bit of a baptism of fire for Freddie Burns.

It is also likely that room will be made in the starting XV for Jonathan Joseph, though whether it is on the wing or in the centres remains to be seen. Ben Youngs is also under pressure from Danny Care in what is an increasingly competitive battle for the 9 shirt.

Lawes is unlikely to start in the second row given the amount of game time he has missed, in any case the form of Parling and Launchbury makes them almost impossible to drop. The second row is becoming a real area of strength for England with these three capable of dominating the position for years.

Possible England squad v New Zealand:

15. Goode, 14. Ashton, 13. Tuilagi, 12. Barritt, 11. Joseph, 10. Farrell, 9. B.Youngs; 1. Corbisiero, 2. T.Youngs, 3. Cole, 4. Launchbury, 5. Parling, 6. Wood, 7. Robshaw (captain), 8. Morgan. 

16. Paice, 17. Wilson, 18. Vunipola, 19. Lawes, 20. Haskell, 21. Care, 22. Burns, 23. Brown

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