Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
---------------
CHOOSE A SPORT
RELATED BBC SITES
Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 May 2007, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
England hand out three new caps
Harlequins full-back Mike Brown
Brown has made a big impression with Harlequins this season
Saturday, 26 May
Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 1400 BST
Live on BBC Radio Five Live and BBC Sport website

England have given debuts to full-back Mike Brown, prop Nick Wood and lock Dean Schofield after naming their side to face South Africa on Saturday.

Fly-half Jonny Wilkinson and centre Andy Farrell return to the starting line-up behind the scrum, while Peter Richards gets the nod at scrum-half.

Wood will play alongside Sale prop Stuart Turner and 34-year-old hooker Mark Regan in the front row.

And Gloucester's Andy Hazell starts at open-side flanker in Bloemfontein.

Players from Wasps, Leicester and Bath did not travel to South Africa after coach Brian Ashton decided that their participation in last weekend's Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup finals ruled them out of contention.

England have been able to name a dangerous back division, but the absence of several key forwards has stretched their resources in the pack.

Regan came out of international retirement to make the trip, with his last cap coming in England's 51-15 defeat by Australia in 2004.

606: DEBATE

Saracens hooker Matt Cairns is on the bench, along with Bristol veterans Darren Crompton and Roy Winters and Harlequins scrum-half Andy Gomarsall.

"It is a very interesting mix of youth and experience," said Ashton.

"I have not been in this job long, and I need to know by the time we are back in England about certain individuals and how they cope in a game like this in a hostile environment."

Wilkinson, who missed training on Tuesday with a stomach upset, will be making his first England appearance since their heavy defeat by Ireland in the Six Nations, and Ashton marked him out as a key player in a side lacking in experience.

"Jonny won't have faced many bigger challenges than this," said Ashton.

"But Jonny brings massive amounts of experience, very high skill levels and great enthusiasm.

"He is a player that relishes a challenge, whether it is a personal one or a team one."

We have even been called plumbers and painters by a local newspaper

England coach Brian Ashton

Only three players who started England's last game against Wales in the Six Nations - centre Mathew Tait and wingers Jason Robinson and David Strettle - make the cut.

England's entire pack for that game was supplied by Wasps and Leicester, hghlighting the depleted nature of the squad in South Africa.

The two sides are in the same pool at the World Cup, and South Africa are expected to name a full-strength line-up on Wednesday in a bid to press home an early psychological blow.

"We expect the Springboks to be extremely physical, as always, but the fact that this is a massive opportunity for the players will hopefully be motivation enough," added Ashton.

"The atmosphere in the squad is good, even though they have been written off by everyone in the world, and have even been called plumbers and painters by a local newspaper.

"They know the enormity of the challenge, but it is a fantastic opportunity."


England: M Brown (Harlequins); D Strettle (Harlequins), M Tait (Newcastle), A Farrell (Saracens), J Robinson (Sale Sharks, capt); J Wilkinson (Newcastle), P Richards (Gloucester); N Wood (Gloucester), M Regan (Bristol) S Turner (Sale), D Schofield (Sale), A Brown (Gloucester), C Jones (Sale), A Hazell (Gloucester), N Easter (Harlequins).
Replacements: M Cairns (Saracens), D Crompton (Bristol), R Winters (Bristol), P Sanderson (Worcester), A Gomarsall (Harlequins), T Flood (Newcastle), I Balshaw (Gloucester).


SEE ALSO
Dawson queries Wilkinson call-up
18 May 07 |  English
England 'upbeat' in South Africa
17 May 07 |  English
Shirts through the years
15 May 07 |  Rugby Union
Simpson-Daniel eager to impress
15 May 07 |  English
Balshaw replaces Cohen for tour
08 May 07 |  English
Cohen out of SA tour & World Cup
04 May 07 |  English
SA tour unfair on England - Catt
03 May 07 |  English
Robinson to captain England squad
01 May 07 |  Rugby Union
Catt injury adds to England woes
27 Apr 07 |  English


RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


BBC PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us