England name two debutants in team to face Argentina


Christian Wade and Matt Kvesic will win their first caps for England against Argentina this weekend.

London Wasps wing Wade, 21, and Worcester Warriors flanker Kvesic, 22, make their Test debuts against the Pumas at the Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena in Salta on Saturday (20:10 BST).

Three more players – Bath Rugby centre Kyle Eastmond, Sale Sharks prop Henry Thomas and London Wasps back row forward Billy Vunipola – will also win their first caps if they come off the replacements bench.

Elsewhere fly half Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby), hooker Rob Webber (Bath Rugby) and lock Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby) all start a full international for the first time.

Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: “It is great to have so many young players pushing through and to be able to give them their opportunities on this tour. It is a young England side but one with a great deal of ability and self-belief and it will be great to see how they perform in the intensity of Test match rugby.

“Facing Argentina in front of their home crowd in Salta will be a tough challenge but we are looking forward to it and I am sure the players will give their all for the shirt.”

15 Mike Brown (Harlequins, 16 caps)
14 Christian Wade (Wasps, uncapped)
13 Jonathan Joseph (London Irish, 4 caps)
12 Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby, 4 caps)
11 David Strettle (Saracens, 13 caps)
10 Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby, 1 cap)
9 Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints, 7 caps)
1 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 10 caps)
2 Rob Webber (Bath Rugby, 3 caps)
3 David Wilson (Bath Rugby, 26 caps)
4 Joe Launchbury (London Wasps, 9 caps)
5 Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby, 2 caps)
6 Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 18 caps, captain)
7 Matt Kvesic (Worcester Warriors, uncapped)
8 Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby, 10 caps)

16 David Paice (London Irish, 6 caps)
17 Paul Doran Jones (Northampton Saints, 4 caps)
18 Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks, uncapped)
19 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 20 caps)
20 Billy Vunipola (London Wasps, uncapped)
21 Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens, 12 caps)
22 Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
23 Ben Foden (Northampton Saints, 30 caps)

25 thoughts on “England name two debutants in team to face Argentina

  1. Interesting to see Attwood in over Lawes. Is it for the line out experience or has another player jumped Lawes in the pecking order?

    Also, interesting that Yarde and May are behind Wade; I assumed they would be but this confirms it. And that final one is Brown in over Foden. I would personally have it the other way but I don’t have a massive issue.

      1. But Vunipola’s back row cover, and he can surely shift mid-game? My only assumption is Attwood is a line out lock and Lancaster feels like he needs one in there.

  2. Not a bad team, a bit annoyed by Strets being selected after how good Yarde was against barbarians but not a bad team at all.

  3. I would imagine that Attwood is on for his line-out work. Usually a 4 is the “enforcer/heavy lifter” of the two and 5 is the line-out specialist.

    Interesting, but clearly unavoidable, that they have two Tight-Heads on the bench. Assuming one (Doran-Jones?) at least will cover Loose Head.

    1. Borthwick is a line-out specialist but has always played 4, but you’re right, it usually works that way.

  4. Personally, I would have had May over Strettle in the starting line up. I like the fact that Eastmond is there for cover in the backs. Pleased with Attwood’s pick over Lawes as Attwood deserves this with the improvements he has made over the past few months. Am looking forward to seeing Kvesic play but we need the tight five to be dominant.

    Should be close, but I reckon we’ll nick it by five.

  5. Very happy apart form Strettle. He has a try scoring record that only a prop would be proud of. Feel sorry for Yarde. I was sceptical about his initial selection but was very impressed with his performance against the Barbarians.

    A bit worried about the front row without Corbs – I really hope that losing him hasn’t disrupted the preparation too much, but then again it could easily have been an injury so I suppose sides must have to deal with this.

    Front row aside, the bench looks pretty handy. I like the flexibility that Eastmond provides, as long as he doesn’t do the kicking – although with Burns, Wiggy and 12t we should have base covered.

  6. Happy with pretty much everything apart from Strettle. Surely we’ve learnt by now that its much better having a winger who scores tries as opposed to one who doesn’t?

    Yarde scores them for fun and yet still Strettle somehow finds himself being picked.

  7. Pleased in general, front row bench options a little thin with the loss of Corbs and with Thomas (reportedly) getting mullered last week. Key game for lots of people, but there’s 3 in particular that I think are under particular pressure/scrutiny.

    Strettle has been in good form this season (8 prep tries), so is a form pick. However since scoring on his debut in 2007 he’s not crossed the line in his 12 caps since. Making a few decent yards, a couple of tackles, chasing some kicks and catching a few balls (i.e. a typical Strettle international performance) isn’t going to cut it if we want to progress beyond our group in 2015, we have to score tries. This has to be the last chance to be a convincing international class winger, or we look at Yarde and May.

    Brown is the closest thing to a like for like for Kearney (if needed), hope to see a confident and commanding performance and some of those lovely arching runs we see at Quins. The elephant in the room of 16 caps and no tries still looms however, yes quite a few of those have been out of position and not with a 10/12 combo that is creating much. But he’s got to start crossing the white wash, or be a provider for other to do so. If not then it’s Foden for next week (assuming he’s looking as sharp as he was in the prem final).

    JJ, the talk of him being like a “very good Guscott” hasn’t translated into much in the way of tangible results in his white shirted appearances. Didn’t look out of his depth against the Boks, but was anonymous against the Baa Baas. Has to prove his potential.

    1. Totally agree Matt. Brown deserves his chance although maybe we should be less sentimental. If I think over the past few years Foden has been at the centre or present in England’s best attacking games. Great on the counter attack and seems to bring the best out of others like Ashton.

  8. One thing that stood out for me in the Barbarians game was how unlucky Elliot Daily was not to be included. In my opinion he should have been ahead of Eastmond, Joseph, Burrell, Yarde (even tho he did play well vs ba bas) and Strettle.

    1. When tomkins got injured Daly should have been called up not burrell. Eastmond is a good pick for his versatility alone. It means we don’t have to waste a bench spot for Myler but I guess he won’t play 10 unless Burns gets crocked.

  9. So excited for the weekend. Thank you BBC. Really hope the fwds can front up after the CONSUR wobble. These backs bar Manu and Youngs is what we have all wanted to see for a while.

  10. Who is covering fly half on the bench? Surprised to see Myler left out after he had a good game the other day

    1. Pretty pleased with the selection.

      Interesting that one of PDJ or Thomas will be covering 1. Having said this, back in the days of 22 man squads, that was the done thing, so I am sure that it won’t be too much of an issue (he says in hope)!

      Agree that JJ has to do something, otherwise he is significantly reducing the faith people have in him.

      Strettle is my only issue with the team. With may and yarde not being selected, strettle had best produce something amazing. Even foden would have been better on the wing (scored 2 tries against the Consur lot, while strettle didn’t).

      I think that having only wade as the proven finisher, when there are more in the squad (may, yarde, foden, Eastmond). Christ, even burns and 12Ts have a similar number of tries than strets, and they are the playmakers!

    2. James, I would imagine that either Wigglesworth or Twelvetrees will cover 10, as both have a lot of club experience there.

      1. Eastmond can also play there so we are more than covered. I imagine it will only be injury that will force Burns off the pitch anyway.

    3. If Freddie is injured then I would think that Eastmond will come on, and he and 36 will alternate at first receiver/12.

  11. God Wade already nearly has more career tries than Strettle at top level, strettle apparently has 39 and wade has 32… that’s embarrassing for strettle!:/

  12. My first thought – How on earth is David Wilson the most experienced member of this team?

    It just drives home how early in the development cycle this team is, really.

    I am so pleased Burns is getting a shot, although Argentina should be firm favourites, it’ll be really good to see him in a game where he may be under considerable pressure to do the basics right. I have high hopes for him.

    Pleased for Wade and Eastmond, too, although the one thing I am concerned about is their relatively small stature – apart from Manu most of the outside backs lack the physicality of players like North and Cuthbert.

    That said, exciting team. Looking forward to seeing the game.

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