England Saxons team to play USA in Churchill Cup

Saxons coach Stuart Lancaster has named his England Saxons team to face the USA this weekend.

Matt Stevens starts at tighthead prop as he continues to bid for a place in England’s Rugby World Cup squad, whilst there will be a few other players looking to put their hands up too.

Here’s the team – who are you looking forward to seeing play? Who should go to New Zealand?

England Saxons:
15 Mike Brown, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Micky Young, 1 Matt Mullan, 2 Joe Gray, 3 Matt Stevens, 4 Mouritz Botha, 5 David Attwood, 6 James Gaskell, 7 Tom Johnson, 8 Jordan Crane.

Replacements:
16 David Paice, 17 Kieran Brookes, 18 Graham Kitchener, 19 James Gibson, 20 Paul Hodgson, 21 Alex Goode, 22 Charlie Sharples.

28 thoughts on “England Saxons team to play USA in Churchill Cup

  1. Where’s ‘Sinbad’? Is he injured again? IMO he could bring to England’s back play the same ‘frisson of elan’ that Shane Williams does for Wales. His continued absence at the highest level is an indictment of English rugby and the way it looks after its talent. Come on Johnno-sort it! The ordinary fans are sick of the ‘Leicester Way’ and its pragmatism-let’s have some excitement and the selection of players that people want to watch-you did well to spot Chris Ashton and accelerate him to the highest level. Let’s have some more players that people want to see, instead of one-paced players like Shontayne Hape and Mike Tindall. Take a chance on Manu Tuilagi-he’s young and has what it takes. Don’t make him serve an apprenticeship, and stew after his ban. Oh and by the way, great to see ex-Moseley Rugby centre Henry Trinder playing for the Saxons-give the young players their head, like Brummie Miles Benjamin, ex King Edward’s School, Birmingham, glad to see him in the team too.

  2. Keith – They are definitely giving the young players their head in this one.

    As well as Trinder and Benjamin there’s Rory Clegg starting at 10, Billy Twelvetrees starting at 12, James Gaskell, Matt Mullan..

    There’s a few.

    JSD is not in the team as he is not in the squad..

    1. Point taken, but don’t you think Sinbad should figure somewhere in England’s top 45 players? I know he played for ‘England’ against the Baa-Baas last weekend, however we don’t have that many good players to ignore him IMO..

  3. That lock pairing looks pretty good – Botha’s been great this season and Attwood will be an England regular before long

    Rather a tough pair as well

    1. couldnt agree more paolo.

      without a beastly front 5, you aint going to beat the better teams

  4. Am I right in thinking that Farrell isn’t in there as it’s about to be the U20 World Cup?

  5. Ben – The U20 World Cup has definitely ruled him out, though there was no official word on whether Farrell was up for Saxons selection. Given Clegg’s elevation though I imagine he would have been involved.

  6. The Junior RWC was announced before the Saxons. It may be better experience for Farrell as he’ll play some very different teams with different styles. And lets be honest, the Junior All Blacks are normally so good that they would make a decent fist of winning of the Churchill Cup anyway.

    1. Provisional RWC squad will be named on Monday 20th June. We’ll publish it on here and there is bound to be some debate!

      1. where is brad barritt in the mixer? not in the saxons squad, is he in contention at all?

  7. Brad is injured. He’s just had a hernia op I believe so Im not sure if he will even be fit for the RWC. Shame as he should have been given a shot by now.

      1. Yep – me too. Thought Narraway played well against the Baa Baas – I hope he’s fit for this weekend.

    1. He’s English Qualified. I dont like the residency rule but its here and to be fair Botha had been playing well enough to get a shot.

    2. remember mike catt?he still speaks with an SA accent!

      NZ and Aussies reap the pacific islands for talent so lets not feel too patriotic.

  8. OK, OK, I asked for that one – Mike Catt was possibly the best player I’ve ever seen. Not necessarily in the one-on-one, line breaking, visionary sense, but in how he seemed to affect everyone else in his team on the pitch, and how he rumbled his opposition.
    Nick, I suppose if it’s there, we should embrace it, although it’s a shame we don’t have enough true Englishers to fill the spots.
    Rant over!

    1. catty is probably the most visionary centre weve ever had!

      for me its about team spirit. if you are a saffer and you get 100% behind england and take the abuse from SA fans and players, then you are good enough for england

  9. Given sinbads pretty good performance despite the missed tackle on Visser, and the fact that when he’s not injured he’s been clearly ranked behind only cueto Ashton and strettle in the elite wing ranking ( assuming banahans more a centre now), I think thee implication of his not being in the Saxons is that he’s made the 45 man training squad. This could be wrong, he might have been left out altogether, but I think it’s unlikely one misses tackle would drip him below Thompson of Wooster and his mini me sharples. I hope not, I’d truly love to see a back 3 of Ashton sinbad Foden.

    What a boringly written message, sorry about that

    1. Absolutely Ian-could not have put it better myself…..it wasn’t at all a ‘badly wriiten post’ you got your point across which I totally agree with.
      For the past 3 years I have been telling anyone within earshot that ‘Singbad’ could do for England what Shane Williams does for Wales ie add a bit of pzazz, elan, galvanise them, call it what you will…… if only he can stay fit? I really hope he makes the RWC 2011 England squad, and do for English rugby what rugby league convert Chris Ashton, and to a lesser extent Ben Foden, make us an exciting team to watch with devastating ‘strike’ runners, which is what NZ and to a lesser extent SA (Habana comes to mind, along with Muliaina, Rokocoko et al) who can finish off England’s usual forward superiority

  10. Honest to God, my I phone autocorrect turned Worcester into Wooster. But I wouldn’t believe me either

  11. Saxons team to play Tonga announced at 5.30 today – we’ll have it on the site. No Luke Narraway, who will miss the rest of the tournament unfortunately.

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