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Sam Burgess to make England debut as Lancaster names team for first World Cup warm-up

France are the opposition this Saturday.

Sam Burgess will win his first England cap on Saturday.
Sam Burgess will win his first England cap on Saturday.
Image: Andrew Matthews

SAM BURGESS WILL make his England debut in Saturday’s World Cup warm-up against France at Twickenham but Stuart Lancaster says this will be the last chance for some of his players to impress ahead of the tournament.

Lancaster had already admitted he would field a strong team in his sides’ first warm-up game while also utilising the fixture to take a closer look at some of those on the periphery ahead of settling on his final 31-man panel.

Henry Slade and Burgess will get the opportunity to force their way into the reckoning as they win their first caps while Northampton Saints’ Calum Clark gets the nod in the back-row.

Former Great Britain rugby league international Burgess started his union career in midfield with Bath and then switched to the back-row. He’ll wear number 12 on Saturday in a new look midfield partnership.

There is also plenty of experience in the squad with four British and Irish Lions as well as Tom Wood, who captains the side, and Alex Goode.

“We are really excited to play our first QBE International at Twickenham and to put into practice some what we have been working on for the last six weeks,” Lancaster said.

screenshot.1439224114.29659 Source: England Rugby/Twitter

“The lads are itching to get out and play a match and these games give us a chance to look at a wide range of players and combinations before we narrow down our selection further.

“Tom is one of several leaders in the squad and he captained the team well in Argentina when Chris Robshaw was rested, so this is an ideal opportunity to take the armband at Twickenham against what will be a quality French team.

Tom Croft, Ben Foden and Chris Pennell are all still injured but due to return to training next week.

England play France home and away before facing Ireland at Twickenham on 5 September.

The hosts kick-off the tournament on Friday 18 September against Fiji.

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Ryan Bailey

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