England XV to play the Barbarians

Marcus Smith

England XV head coach Jim Mallinder has named his team to play in the Quilter Cup match against the Barbarians on Sunday 2 June at Twickenham Stadium (KO 3:30pm, live on Sky Sports).

Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks), in his fourth Barbarians fixture, will captain the side with Bath Rugby’s Elliott Stooke named alongside him in the second row.

Marcus Smith (Harlequins), who has regularly trained with the England senior side in recent seasons, will play at 10 with former England U20 scrum half Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints) inside him.

Joe Marchant (Harlequins), scorer of 11 Premiership tries for his club this season, is named at centre outside Newcastle Falcons’ Johnny Williams at 12.

Former England U20 Piers O’Conor will start on the right wing after an impressive first season at Bristol Bears with Josh Bassett, Wasps’ top try scorer this season, on the left wing.

Simon Hammersley (Newcastle Falcons), who will join Sale Sharks next season, is named at full back. He has been among the outstanding players in his position during this season’s Premiership.

Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints) is the only full England international to start the match and will play at No 8 with Ben Curry (Sale Sharks) and Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins) alongside him in the backrow. Harrison has five caps to his name with his last England Test coming in 2016 against Australia.

Tommy Taylor (Wasps) and Paul Hill (Northampton Saints) are the only other two players in the 23-man squad to have been capped for England and are named as finishers.

Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks), Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby) and Ehren Painter (Northampton Saints) will all start in the front row.

Jim Mallinder said: “Preparations have gone really well this week. It’s a new group of players and coaches but we have come together and had some really good training days and we are looking forward to the game on Sunday.

“We have got real balance in the squad between some experienced Premiership players, some with international caps and a lot of youth that has come through the system and played at England U18 and U20 level, but also have played really well for their clubs.

“This game will be massive for them and you can see their motivation and desire. They all have really deserved the opportunity this weekend.”

On the opposition, Mallinder said: “With the Barbarians you have got to expect the unexpected. We have seen their squad full of world-class players and we know they will be doing world-class things on the pitch. We have got to embrace that challenge but we have to concentrate on our own game and play as a team.”

On Beaumont as captain, he added: “I think Josh Beaumont is a great player, a very good leader and has experience of playing in these fixtures. I’ve watched him play for Sale Sharks this season, he’s had a terrific season and I’m really looking forward to him leading the team on Sunday.”

England Women will play the Barbarians Women earlier on Sunday, kicking off at 12:45pm. Tickets for the Barbarians double header are available from £20 for adults and £10 for juniors. For more information and to book tickets, visit www.englandrugby.com/tickets

England XV starters
15 Simon Hammersley (Newcastle Falcons)
14 Piers O’Conor (Bristol Bears)
13 Joe Marchant (Harlequins)
12 Johnny Williams (Newcastle Falcons)
11 Josh Bassett (Wasps)
10 Marcus Smith (Harlequins)
9 Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints)

1 Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks)
2 Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby)
3 Ehren Painter (Northampton Saints)
4 Elliott Stooke (Bath Rugby)
5 Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks) captain
6 Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins)
7 Ben Curry (Sale Sharks)
8 Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints, 5 caps)

16 Tommy Taylor (Wasps, 1 cap)
17 Beno Obano (Bath Rugby)
18 Paul Hill (Northampton Saints, 5 caps)
19 Will Spencer (Leicester Tigers)
20 Tom Ellis (Bath Rugby)
21 Ben White (Leicester Tigers)
22 Callum Sheedy (Bristol Bears)
23 Ben Loader (London Irish)

What do you think of this lineup? Do they stand a chance against a strong Barbarians side?

14 thoughts on “England XV to play the Barbarians

  1. This isnt a bad side considering the obvious limitations in selection. The centres and half backs combine quality with real potential, and I’m very interested to see how Painter goes at tight head. The back row are feisty and well balanced.
    But….they are scratch side up against a good Baabaas team with a number of very high calibre players.
    Difficult to see this England side winning but the hope is they acquit themselves well, and that we see some strong individual performances that point towards their involvement post RWC.

    1. Well, the Barbarians are a scratch side too Steve. That England have chosen a team of greenhorns is their choice. Can’t really see the point in a 1 off game like this myself. Seems almost meaningless in terms of player development & actually meaningless in giving a slim chance to possible WC aspirants. Unless England are trying to protect the ‘A’ team? If so, why play any WC warm up games @ all? Anyway, it is what it is, so we’ll see how it pans out.

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  3. Yes but the oppo looks way too good and this result can only go one way

    Barbarians: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Chris Vui, 4 James Horwill (c), 3 John Afoa, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Joe Marler

    Replacements: 16 David Heffernan, 17 Piere Schoeman, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Facundo Isa, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Brock James, 23 Filipo Nakosi

  4. Im glad the Barbarians always make room for a non international player. I can’t help feeling that if selecting a combined xv, on paper you would likely pick 14 baabaas.
    I expect Marler will have a big game and be a regular news story up to the WC.

    1. Good ? Acee. If Jones had no inenion appraising today’s ‘England’ players, what was he doing there, instead of relaxing @ Wetherspoons? If he was running the slide rule, whom might appear for, er, ‘real’ England in the warm ups?

  5. Well both sides looked better going fwd, but it was the Baa Baas whom looked more the scratch side. Seemed intent on entertaining more than winning, but their execution & defence was just too scruffy for the fat middle of the match. Did they actually practice before the game? Presented England with with far too many opportunities from their errors. England capitalised without having to be creative with these gifts. OTOH, England did press on defence, so the Barbarians had less time & room. That being the case it would have served the latter better to have played what was in front with some clearing kicks @ times. However, I guess that that wasn’t part of their remit. England also had their moments , particularly with Mitchell & Bassett a couple of lively danger men. Dombrandt also featured, although he was fortuitous on occasion. He also had to be Johnny on the spot though, so perhaps he created some of his own good fortune. Ed was looking on, but unsure why; unless he intends to give a couple of potential bolters some game time prior to Japan? The mind boggles!? Collectively the English pack was aggressive & effective enough.. going fwd. Not so much on the back foot. Also, although Painter outweighed Marler by c. a couple of stone, he belly flopped a couple times @ scrum, so he may not be 1 of the bolters. Smith seemed to be a bit of a media darling. He did look a bit lively, but he also got charged, as did the 1/2 (when reverting to type?) & Smith also went for goal when he (& the 1/2) might have had more ambition. And the Baa Baas didn’t get their act together until the horse had bolted. Still, a win’s a win & there’ll be (more) talk about players of the future, but for me there are only players of the here & now, or not. The so called future is a nebulous thing. I wonder how many from today will feature in future, in Japan, for England. Not a lot I suspect. Not with EJ in situ.. but we’ll see. Might surprise us.

  6. A few players enhanced their reputations. Notably Dombrandt and Curry in the back row, the half backs and Marchant.
    Wouldnt surprise me if a few of these are named in the initial WC training squad.
    The game itself was lively enough. Lots of soft tries, but that was to be expected.
    A win is a good result for this very inexperienced England team.


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