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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 May 2006, 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK
Hodgson named as Saxons captain
London Irish's Paul Hodgson
Hodgson was a key player for the Exiles last season
London Irish scrum-half Paul Hodgson will lead England Saxons in the first game of their Churchill Cup defence, against Scotland in Canada on Saturday.

He got the nod ahead of Sale's Richard Wigglesworth after Clive Stuart-Smith was ruled out by a hamstring injury.

"Paul is a natural captain who leads from the front and is communicative and committed," said coach Jon Callard.

"It was the plan to have captains for games as well as a tour captain. There will be opportunities for others."

Hodgson's half-back partner will be Dave Walder, with Kai Horstmann, a late call-up for the injured James Forrester, starting at No 8.

"The back row was the toughest call of all, especially leaving out Kieran Roche, who has had an exceptional season but I think we have got the balance of the pack right for this particular game," added Callard.

England Saxons team to play Scotland in Toronto:

Horak, Armitage (both L Irish), Johnston (Saracens), Vesty (Leicester), Erinle (Wasps), Walder (Newcastle), Hodgson (capt, L Irish); Barnes (Bath), Buckland (Leicester), Turner (Sale), Hudson (Bath), Schofield (Sale), Beattie (Bath), Seymour (Saracens), Horstmann (Worcester). Replacements: Paice (L Irish), Ward (Newcastle), Kennedy (L Irish), Woods (Newcastle), Wigglesworth (Sale), Crockett (Bath), Bell (Leeds)

Barclays Churchill Cup match schedule

Saturday June 3

Pool A (Toronto)

England Saxons v Scotland A, York Stadium (1945 BST)

Pool B (San Francisco)

USA v Ireland A, Santa, Clara Stadium (2200 BST)

Wednesday June 7

Pool A (Ottawa)

Canada v Scotland A, Twin Elm Stadium (2330 BST)

Pool B (San Francisco)

USA v New Zealand Maori, Santa Clara Stadium, 7.30pm (3.30am Thurs June 8 UK)

Saturday 10 June 10

Pool A (Toronto)

England Saxons v Canada, York Stadium, 2.45pm local time (1945 BST)

Saturday June 17

Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, matches from 1900 BST

Barclays Churchill Cup, Bowl final

Barclays Churchill Cup Final

Barclays Churchill Cup Plate final

Callard gives incentive to Saxons
30 May 06 |  Internationals
Forrester to miss Churchill Cup
29 May 06 |  Internationals
Ford & Wells join England set-up
23 May 06 |  Internationals

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