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Page last updated at 05:37 GMT, Tuesday, 17 June 2008 06:37 UK

Much-changed England call up Care

NEW ZEALAND v ENGLAND
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch Date: Saturday, 21 June Kick-off: 0835 BST Coverage: BBC Radio 5 Live, Text commentary on BBC Sport website


New England scrum-half Danny Care
Care impressed after coming on as a replacement in Auckland

England have reacted to their thumping by the All Blacks by making six changes, five in the backs, for Saturday's second Test in Christchurch.

Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care is handed a first Test start after his debut as a replacement in Auckland.

Toby Flood replaces Charlie Hodgson at fly-half, Jamie Noon partners Mike Tindall at centre while Mathew Tait and Tom Varndell come into the back three.

The only enforced change sees Tim Payne replace Andrew Sheridan at loose-head.

Otherwise, the pack that competed well with New Zealand in the first Test remains, with hooker Lee Mears and lock Tom Palmer retaining their places.

Olly Barkley and wing David Strettle drop to the bench, where the uncapped Bristol prop Jason Hobson is promoted alongside London Irish scrum-half Peter Richards.

Half-backs Richard Wigglesworth and Hodgson, and full-back Mike Brown, are omitted from the 22 altogether.

Charlie is very gutted, he realised he didn't play well

Defence coach Mike Ford
Hodgson was always a likely casualty after struggling against the All Blacks midfield ball-carriers and being hauled off after 50 minutes last Saturday.

But Barkley, who replaced Hodgson at 10 for the final half-hour in Auckland, has also been dropped, with Noon coming in to form a more robust, if perhaps creatively limited, partnership with Tindall.

"The selection of Noon at inside centre is about combinations and the physical threat that is posed by New Zealand in that area of the field and what we need to do to challenge them," explained tour manager Rob Andrew.

"There were lots of areas where we thought we matched them; we felt the midfield was probably the area where the game was won and lost. We need to get a balance in there to defend better."

606: DEBATE
Defence coach Mike Ford has met with Hodgson twice in the last 24 hours with the aim of helping the Sale fly-half improve his defence.

"I had a good sit down with Charlie," said Ford. "He is very gutted, he realised he didn't play well.

"I will give him every ounce of support I can from now on if he feels he needs it. We are there for him.

"He understands that at international level with just one missed tackle you are back under your own posts. He realises he has to improve."

Flood, signed by Leicester recently predominantly as a fly-half, has started only two of his 17 England Tests at number 10.

"This is a big challenge," he said. "It is a hugely responsible position and hopefully I can slot back in at 10 and deal with the pressures that come with it.

This is a fantastic opportunity. I have got to step up to the mark

Tom Varndell
"New Zealand ask big questions but with Jamie (Noon) and Mike (Tindall) around it is hopefully something we can deal with."

Some selections were made, Andrew said, with one eye on giving players a chance to prove they should be in a 32-man elite player squad for next season, due to be announced on 1 July.

Leicester flyer Varndell returns to Test rugby for the first time since an unhappy tour of Australia in 2006, while the rapid rise of Care continues after a superb second half of the season with Harlequins.

"I had my opportunity a couple of years ago and failed miserably back then," Varndell told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"But I think that will stand me in good stead for Saturday. I have had a lot of tough times but learnt a lot in the last two years.

"It is a bit of a fluke that I was on the tour in the first place (after Paul Sackey dropped out injured) but I am here now and this is a fantastic opportunity. I have got to step up to the mark."

Andrew and his coaches have opted not to take a look at London Irish lock Nick Kennedy, Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley, Leicester flanker Tom Croft or Wasps centre Dominic Waldouck, the only members of the squad not to feature in either Test 22.

New Zealand, meanwhile, have made four changes to their side, with centre Richard Kahui and wing Rudi Wolf handed Test debuts.

Kahui takes over from the impressive Conrad Smith at outside centre, while Wulf comes in for Anthony Tuitavake, with Sitiveni Sivivatu switched from left to right wing.

The other change in the backs sees Leon MacDonald recalled at full-back with Mils Muliaina dropping to the bench.

Flanker Adam Thomson makes his first Test start at blind-side, with Rodney So'oialo reverting to number eight in place of Jerome Kaino, while prop Tony Woodcock returns on the bench after injury.


England: Mathew Tait (Newcastle); Topsy Ojo (London Irish), Mike Tindall (Gloucester), Jamie Noon (Newcastle), Tom Varndell (Leicester); Toby Flood (Leicester), 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).




see also
Andrew salutes England's resolve
14 Jun 08 |  English
New Zealand 37-20 England
14 Jun 08 |  English
McCaw and Palmer set for reunion
11 Jun 08 |  English
New Zealand 21-11 Ireland
07 Jun 08 |  Rugby Union


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