England v New Zealand team news

England will field a very different side for the second Test against New Zealand, with six changes in total – five of which are in the back line.

As predicted by The Rugby Blog readership, Charlie Hodgson drops out of the match squad altogether with Toby Flood filling his fly-half boots. He will be partnered by Danny Care, who makes his first start in an England shirt after looking sharp from the bench last week.

Mathew Tait is selected at full-back over Mike Brown, Tom Vandell replaces David Strettle and Jamie Noon starts at 12 alongside Mike Tindall.

In the forwards, Tim Payne comes in for Andrew Sheridan who was ruled out through injury – but otherwise the pack is unchanged.

Is this a back line to trouble the mighty All Blacks?

England: Mathew Tait (Newcastle); Topsy Ojo (London Irish), Mike Tindall (Gloucester), Jamie Noon (Newcastle), Tom Varndell (Leicester); Toby Flood (Newcastle), Danny Care (Harlequins); Tim Payne (Wasps), Lee Mears (Bath), Matt Stevens (Bath), Tom Palmer (Wasps), Steve Borthwick (Bath, captain), James Haskell (Wasps), Tom Rees (Wasps), Luke Narraway (Gloucester).
Replacements: Jason Hobson (Bristol), David Paice (London Irish), Ben Kay (Leicester), Joe Worsley (Wasps), Peter Richards (London Irish), Olly Barkley (Bath), David Strettle (Harlequins).

New Zealand: Leon MacDonald (Crusaders); Sitiveni Sivivatu (Chiefs), Richard Kahui (Chiefs), Ma’a Nonu (Hurricanes), Rudi Wulf (Blues); Daniel Carter (Crusaders), Andy Ellis (Crusaders); Neemia Tialata (Hurricanes), Andrew Hore (Hurricanes), Greg Somerville (Crusaders), Brad Thorn (Crusaders), Ali Williams (Crusaders), Adam Thomson (Highlanders), Richie McCaw (Crusaders), Rodney So’oialo (Hurricanes).
Replacements: Keven Mealamu (Blues), Tony Woodcock (Blues), Anthony Boric (Blues), Sione Lauaki (Chiefs), Jimmy Cowan (Highlanders), Stephen Donald (Chiefs), Mils Muliaina (Chiefs).

4 thoughts on “England v New Zealand team news

  1. Quite unbelieveable. Where’s my mate Balshy??? What’s going on?? And all my other Glouscester buddies?? I reckon I could make a better job of it!!!
    Where’s my Horlicks?

  2. Oh for a Josh Lewsey in this team. I was hoping it was just a personal thing with Ashton….

  3. If you look at NZ’s back line they have a battle-hardened unit with a lot of caps between them and the temperament for winning a lot of games (but not quarter finals of course). They also have a clear game plan which newcomers and replacements can slot straight in to.

    We have none of the above and you don’t get them overnight. Personally I’ve mentally written off this tour and all I’m hoping for from the 2009 6N is the green shoots of recovery and a core of a settled back line starting to come together and form a game plan.

    The lack of any sign whatsoever of any cohesion in the backline was depressing, but inevitable on Saturday. I too would like to have seen Lewsey in the squad, but given that he’s not I think trying Tait there is a good option. Brown just seems too headstrong – good enough for the Premiership but not cool-headed enough for international rugby yet, like a lot of our team.

    I thought Ojo finished his two tries well (not that the second was ever so difficult) even if England can’t take any credit for how either of them came about, so glad to see him stay in.

    If Care can transfer his Quins game to the international scene and we see plenty of quick intelligent ball then the back line has no excuse for a repeat of last week’s ponderings.

    I’m just looking forward to the end of the tour, the dawn of the Johnno era, the return of Ellis, Cipriani, Sackey and Hipkiss to name but a few, and hopefully some decisive and consistent selection throughout the next two years.

    I can’t be any more optimistic than that about any tour that involves Rob Andrew!

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