Leicester's Jordan Crane captains the Saxons. David Davies/PA Archive

England Saxons name strong team as they look to neuter Wolfhounds

An imposing English backline includes Saracens stars Fraser and Kruis, and Leicester’s Jordan Crane.

FIVE PLAYERS WILL their England Saxons debuts against the Ireland Wolfhounds at Galway on Friday.

Elliot Daly (London Wasps) and Joel Tomkins (Saracens) are in the back line of a young Saxons outfit while Saracens pair George Kruis and Will Fraser start in the back row at The Sportsground.

Leicester Tigers out-half George Ford is capped at senior level but this will be his first Wolfhounds start.

Four more replacements are also set to make their first appearances at this level with former England Under-20 trio Rob Buchanan (Harlequins), Shaun Knight (Gloucester Rugby) and George Lowe (Harlequins) joined by ex-Rugby League international Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby).

Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers) will captain the side after helping steer his club into the quarter finals of the Heineken Cup last weekend.

Crane is one of six full internationals in the team along with Matt Mullan (Worcester Warriors), Paul Doran-Jones (Northampton Saints), Joe Simpson (London Wasps), Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins) and Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens).

Saxons coach Jon Callard said, “This is a dynamic young side with an average age of less than 24 and the players have a chance to show that they can play a major part of the future of English rugby over the coming years.

“The blend of forward power and pace in the back line makes it an exciting one to be involved with.” He added:

We’re facing an experienced Irish side in this opening game and the challenge is to step up and deliver a high quality performance in front of a passionate crowd in Galway.”

Ireland will name their starting XV and replacements this afternoon.

England Saxons: Elliot Daly; Christian Wade, Joel Tomkins, Jordan Turner-Hall, Tom Biggs; George Ford, Richard Wigglesworth; Nick Wood, Joe Gray; Paul Doran-Jones; Graham Kitchener, George Robson; George Kruis, Will Fraser, Jordan Crane (c).

Replacements: Rob Buchanan, Matt Mullan, Shaun Knight, Ed Slater, Jamie Gibson, Joe Simpson, George Lowe, Kyle Eastmond.

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