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Page last updated at 06:32 GMT, Friday, 11 June 2010 07:32 UK

Shontayne Hape to face Australia in England Test debut

England v Australia
Venue: Subiaco Oval, Perth Date: Saturday, 12 June Kick-off: 1100 BST
Coverage: Live coverage on Sky Sports 1; live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra; text commentary and live scores on BBC Sport website


Shontayne Hape in training for England
Hape has shone for Bath since switching codes

Bath centre Shontayne Hape will make his England Test debut in Saturday's Cook Cup clash with Australia in Perth.

The New Zealand-born rugby league convert, 29, takes over at inside centre from the injured Riki Flutey.

Hooker Steve Thompson and lock Tom Palmer both start, and there is a return for Leicester flanker Tom Croft.

Jonny Wilkinson is on the bench, with Toby Flood retained at fly-half, while Danny Care holds off the challenge of scrum-half rival Ben Youngs.

Leicester hooker George Chuter and Northampton lock Courtney Lawes are both on the bench.

England are chasing their first victory over the Wallabies on Australian soil since the 2003 World Cup final - and only their third ever.

Hape will become the third former Kiwi rugby league international to play for England, following in the footsteps of Henry Paul and Lesley Vainikolo.

He's one of those guys that seems to have a bit more time than most, he's very composed

England manager Martin Johnson on Shontayne Hape

He was set to make his Test debut against Wales during the Six Nations, just weeks after qualifying for England on residency grounds, before falling ill on the eve of the game.

England manager Martin Johnson said: "I have been very impressed with him. He's a very smart carrier with the ball in hand.

"He's one of those guys that seems to have a bit more time than most, he's very composed."

Hape made his first England appearance in the non-cap, pre-tour game against the Barbarians and has been preferred at inside centre to Bath team-mate Olly Barkley, alongside Mike Tindall in midfield.

"Shontayne and Mike are both very skilful players," Johnson added. "Shontayne is very direct, he has a very good passing game and he is a good attacker."

Thompson came on tour as first-choice hooker after Dylan Hartley was ruled out of the five-match trip through injury, while Palmer impressed off the bench against France in Paris at the end of March.

Croft, a star of the Lions tour 12 months ago, returns to the back row after missing the Six Nations with a knee injury.

Australia inside centre Matt Giteau will miss Saturday's Test because of a hip injury.

Giteau, 27, who was injured during last weekend's 49-3 victory over Fiji, has been replaced by New South Wales Waratahs playmaker Berrick Barnes.

James O'Connor makes another searing break for the Australian Barbarians
O'Connor was in scintillating form for the Aussie Barbarians

James O'Connor displaces Kurtley Beale at full-back after scoring three tries for the Australian Barbarians in their 28-28 draw with England on Tuesday.

"The quality shown by James was simply impossible to ignore," said Deans.

Drew Mitchell returns in place of the injured Adam Ashley-Cooper on the left wing.

Australia field a front row with just two Test caps and one start between them, with prop Ben Daley - the 21-year-old son of former Australian rugby league international Phil Daley - and hooker Saia Faingaa handed Test debuts alongside tight-head Salesi Ma'afu, who made his debut against Fiji last Saturday.

Daley takes over from Ben Alexander, who damaged knee ligaments against Fiji, while hooker Huia Edmonds, also a debutant in the 49-3 win, drops to the bench.

Quade Cooper remains at fly-half outside scrum-half Luke Burgess, with Will Genia on the bench, while Barnes lines up alongside Rob Horne, who wins his second cap.

Rocky Elsom will captain the team as blind-side flanker.


England team: Ben Foden (Northampton), Mark Cueto (Sale), Mike Tindall (Gloucester), Shontayne Hape (Bath), Chris Ashton (Northampton); Toby Flood (Leicester), Danny Care (Harlequins); Tim Payne (Wasps), Steve Thompson (Leeds), Dan Cole (Leicester); Simon Shaw (Wasps), Tom Palmer (Stade Francais), Tom Croft (Leicester), Lewis Moody (Leicester - capt), Nick Easter (Harlequins).
Replacements: George Chuter (Leicester), David Wilson (Bath), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), J Haskell (Stade Francais), Ben Youngs (Leicester), Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon), Mathew Tait (Sale).

Australia team: James O'Connor (Western Force); Digby Ioane (Queensland Reds), Rob Horne (NSW Waratahs), Berrick Barnes (NSW Waratahs), Drew Mitchell (NSW Waratahs); Quade Cooper (Queensland Reds), Luke Burgess (NSW Waratahs); Ben Daley (Queensland Reds), Saia Faingaa (Queensland Reds), Salesi Ma'afu (ACT Brumbies), Dean Mumm (NSW Waratahs), Nathan Sharpe (Western Force), Rocky Elsom (ACT Brumbies, capt), David Pocock (Western Force), Richard Brown (Western Force).
Replacements: Huia Edmonds (ACT Brumbies), James Slipper (Queensland Reds), Mark Chisholm (ACT Brumbies), Matt Hodgson (Western Force), Will Genia (Queensland Reds), Kurtley Beale (NSW Waratahs).



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see also
Injury-hit Wallabies look vulnerable
11 Jun 10 |  Rugby Union
England call up Dowson for Fourie
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Wallabies win marred by injuries
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Johnson takes positives from England draw
08 Jun 10 |  Rugby Union
Aussie Barbarians 28-28 England
08 Jun 10 |  Rugby Union
Johnson wants 'smarter' England
30 May 10 |  Rugby Union
England 35-26 Barbarians
30 May 10 |  Rugby Union
England pick nine untried players
11 May 10 |  English
Hape is mixing with the best
23 Oct 07 |  Rugby League


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