England team to play the Barbarians

Stuart Lancaster has named his side for England’s clash with the Barbarians on Sunday at Twickenham Stadium.

With 18 of the original 42-man squad missing due to Harlequins playing Leicester Tigers in the Aviva Premiership Final, Lancaster originally called up four extra players in Haydn Thomas, Richard Wigglesworth, Jamie Gibson and Freddie Burns. Phil Dowson will captain the side in Chris Robshaw’s absence in what will be his 6th cap for his country.


15. Foden, 14. Ashton, 13. Barritt, 12. Farrell, 11. Wade, 10. Hodgson, 9. Dickson; 1. Stevens, 2. Hartley, 3. Doran-Jones, 4. Botha, 5. Palmer, 6. Johnson, 7. Fearns, 8. Dowson


16. Mears, 17. Mullan, 18. Launchbury, 19. Gibson, 20. Wigglesworth, 21. Joseph, 22. Goode

22 thoughts on “England team to play the Barbarians

  1. At a first glance it looks a tad conservative, but then that comes with the Barbarians fixtures normally being viewed as a chance to experiment.

    In fact, Lancaster’s attitude is spot on by viewing it as an important warm-up for the South Africa tour. The core of England’s side are there with Tuilagi, Corbisiero, Cole, Parling all ready to come back in. If Johnson goes well, what’s stopping him playing a role in the 6 shirt in South Africa with Croft out?

    1. My issue is that the BaBa’s won’t being playing the same style as SA so not sure how much the team will take away from this.

      Personally think it would have been better to blood new players and throw caution to the wind and enjoy the game for the specatle it should be.

      1. I have to agree with liking Lancasters attitude, though I totally agree that this should have been used as a chance to blood new players; yes SA will play differently, but that doesn’t alter the fact it is a chance to see what the team can take away from this – I guess it’s a balancing act/management risk/call between these two points. Either way – I am really looking forward to this – just wish deepest darkest Cornwall wasn’t such a trek so we could see the games live more often !

  2. Exciting team, can’t wait to see what wade and fearns can do. Although I’m not a fan of Farrell at 12 he just lacks a running game for me at 10 he can get away without it but I think barritt

  3. …and Joseph is a much more rounded and dangerous looking partnership especially with Joseph’s pace on the hard ground

  4. Like Rob, would have liked to have seen Joseph instead of Farrell in the centre. Excited to see what Wade can produce at ‘international’ level.

    Pretty damning exclusion of Burns? Lancaster has talked of blooding the youngsters for 2015, but FB can’t get near the squad.

  5. I am still lacking an understanding of why Hodgson? Not only is he a questionable selection, he goes very much against the whole feel of what Lancaster is trying to achieve.

    I would personally have expected either Farrell to play 10 – as he’s much more useful there than at centre – or for Freddie Burns to get his opportunity for a blooding.

    Looking to 2015, I’ll be extremely surprised if Hodgson is anywhere near the squad. Flood and Farrell are likely to be the choice 10s and Burns needs to get a lot of time in to be third choice in case there are injuries. That’s not to say that he couldn’t even move ahead of Flood or Farrell in that time.

    1. Agreed! No sense in having Hodgson there! Granted in the 6 nations we needed some experience but he has no place in the team going forward and this would have been a great opportunity to blood Burns.

    2. Unfortunately for Burns, Ford is most likely going to be above him in the pecking order as well. Farrell’s ability to play in the centres (mainly because of his tackling) means he will be in the team. But Ford is turning up the heat on Flood Farrell and Burns to claim that England 10 jersey. And don’t forget a certain Mr. Cipriani will be in with a chance.

      Your right about Hodgson though. But with no Flood, Tuilagi, Turner Hall, or Anthony Allen available for this game, Lancaster has made the smart choice and gone for experience.

    3. At the risk of jumping on the band wagon – I have to agree with the point about Hodgson. He not only doesn’t fit with the concept of a new England etc but even if we were to need him – he is a known quantity . . . . . blood new Fly Halfs PLEASE !!!!

  6. I think Lancaster has made some very clever selections here. Without Robshaw and Croft available, he has made some brave choices with Johnson and Fearns, but had no choice. But in the backs he’s been cautious. He could have thrown them all in, but with a less experienced back row, he needs the defensive core that was put in place in the 6 nations. Thus Farrell and Barritt get the nod with Hodgson running the show from 10. I’m sure in the second half, whether England are winning or not, he will bring on the likes of Joseph, Goode, Launchbury etc. and let them show what they can do. Should be an interesting game. I assume it’s on Sky?

  7. I am not a fan of Hodgson. BUT, in Lancaster’s defence, would you really want an inexperienced backline going up behind an inexperienced back row? The forwards are wear the gamble has been taken, through necessity due to the absence of Robshaw and co.
    Hope it goes well for them

    1. Well it worked in the 6n. Attacking wise we were awful with CH at 10 and Farrell at 12, I just don’t understand this backward step. Joseph in for Tuilagi makes so much more sense.

    2. Granted you don’t want too much change and need some semblance of stability, but the BABAs is where you can take such chances without major implications around the corner – I still think it’s a chance missed.

  8. Minor point but this won’t be Dowson’s 6th cap, England don’t give out caps for Baa Baas games.

    Bit disappointed to see Dowson getting pilloried elsewhere, I think he’s a really sound choice, although it’s potentially a bit harsh on Dylan Hartley who Graham Rowntree had previously implied was next in line. I understand the reasoning was that Hartley needs to focus on his day job having been out for 8 weeks. Dowson, while not as spectacular as Ben Morgan, is in possession of what the pundits call a ‘great rugby brain’, and also is a very good distributor of the ball. It’ll be interesting to see his performance while working with a scrum-half he is familiar with, Lee Dickson.

    Ben’s right though, this needs to be viewed as a warm-up for the SA tour – making sure that as many of the tourists as possible get a game this weekend (whether in the prem final or this game). Loving the inclusion of Christian Wade.

  9. With Ashton back in some form and Wade capable of moments of magic this is the most exciting back 3 we have fielded in a long time. Don’t have any issue with Hodgson regaining the 10 shirt as he seemed to playing better than Farrell at 10 for Sarries. Stevens at loosehead?!?! Would have preferred to see Mullan start. Backrow options a little limited but would have preferred to see Dowson play 6, have a hunch Fearns will go well though.

    Really looking forward to
    – Seeing some sort of creativity and good execution of first phase moves
    – Seeing if this centre pairing are capable of any real attacking threat (line breaks, broken tackles, offloads or great passing) in good conditions.
    – Wade running at forwards who have been on the lash all week.

    1. We’ve seen through 2 seasons of premiership and half of the last 6N that this center pairing offer no serious threat with ball in hand.

    1. Could be that Stevens is in because Smit and Brits are in the team for the Ba Bas. Two guys he plays and trains with constantly.

      1. Yeah but that works both ways and they’re both considerably better players than him…

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