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November internationals: England name strong side for Fiji clash

Tom Youngs of Leicester Tigers will make his debut while Brad Barritt and Manu Tuilagi form an inter-continental centre partnership.

Manu Tuilagi will partner Brad Barritt in the England midfield.
Manu Tuilagi will partner Brad Barritt in the England midfield.
Image: Barry Aldworth/Sports Inc/Press Association Images

TOM YOUNGS WILL make his England Test debut in Saturday’s international against Fiji at Twickenham.

The Leicester hooker, who played twice in midweek during the summer tour of South Africa, will start alongside Joe Marler and Dan Cole as England kick off their four-Test autumn series.

Many of the players have been picked on the basis of good form for their respective clubs but only three players in the starting line-up have more than 30 caps.

There are five changes to the starting XV from the final Test against the Springboks, which England drew 14-14, including Charlie Sharples coming on to the right wing for Chris Ashton and Ugo Monye taking over from Ben Foden on the left.

Brad Barritt will partner Manu Tuilagi in an inter- continental centre partnership while Chris Robshaw returns as captain at open-side flanker for James Haskell.

England coach Stuart Lancaster said, “This international series will be a real marker of where we are as a squad.

We are playing four back to back matches in four weeks against the top teams in the world and we are confident we can rise to the challenge. The foundations are in place, now it’s time for us to execute and deliver.

Fiji is a good first Test for us and we can’t wait to play back at Twickenham. The atmosphere against Ireland back in March was superb and you can’t underestimate what it means to the players to have 82,000 people and the nation behind them.

Lancaster added, “Congratulations to Tom Youngs, who has made a great transition from centre to hooker in a short period and deserves his chance, as do Joe Launchbury and Mako Vunipola, who we are pleased to be able to include in the squad.”

England: A Goode; C Sharples, M Tuilagi, B Barritt, U Monye; T Flood, D Care; J Marler, T Youngs, D Cole; T Palmer, G Parling, T Johnson, C Robshaw, T Waldrom.

Replacements: D Paice, D Wilson, M Vunipola, J Launchbury, T Wood, B Youngs, O Farrell, M Brown.

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Patrick McCarry

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