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Page last updated at 12:03 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

England change four for Argentina

International: England v Argentina
Venue: Twickenham Kick-off: 1430 GMT, Saturday 14 November
Coverage: Live on Sky Sports 2, BBC Radio 5 Live, highlights on BBC Three and text commentary on the BBC Sport website

James Haskell (left) and Duncan Bell
Haskell and Bell have been brought into England's pack to face Argentina

England have made four changes to their starting line-up for their meeting with Argentina at Twickenham on Saturday.

James Haskell comes in at number eight after Jordan Crane - who started in the 18-9 defeat by Australia - was among 10 players released to their clubs.

Veteran prop Duncan Bell, 35, will make his first Test start since 2005 after an injury to David Wilson.

Hooker Dylan Hartley replaces Steve Thompson while Paul Hodgson is preferred to Danny Care at scrum-half.

Rookie Gloucester prop Paul Doran-Jones is named among the replacements, as is Wasps' versatile flanker Joe Worsley.

Worsley takes the place of Crane in the match-day 22, with the Leicester man dropping out of the squad entirely having started against the Wallabies.

Johnson explains England changes

England manager Martin Johnson has shuffled his line-up in an attempt to find the spark that faded dramatically in the opening game of the autumn internationals against Australia last Saturday.

"Against Australia we did some things pretty well at times and then the same things not so well," said Johnson. "We need to be consistent.

"The guys have been very honest. They recognise individually where they did not play well and as a group.

"We dropped off the pace a little after a good start. It's a team thing. It's not individual pace, it's an urgency of the team to adapt to Test rugby.

"We recognise that and we have got to improve, and I think we will improve."

After four appearances from the bench, Hodgson gets his first start in an England shirt.

The 27-year-old half-back has been in fine form for London Irish this season, winning the Premiership player of the month award for September.

"We said to Danny 'you are not dropped and you will come off the bench to make an impact'," added Johnson. "But Paul thoroughly deserves an opportunity to start.

"He has been fantastic to have around over the last few weeks. His organisation and leadership around the group has been good."


Haskell, 24, who moved from Wasps to French side Stade Francais over the summer, won his 20th cap when replacing Crane at number eight in the 53rd minute against Australia but has struggled to cement a regular place since making his debut against Wales two years ago.

It will be the first time Haskell has started for England at the back of the scrum, with his other 13 starts coming on the blind-side flank.

"He has been in and out of the team a little bit but you know what you get with him, he is a very dynamic player and this is a big opportunity for him to come in at number eight," argued Johnson.

Hartley will win his 13th cap, but make only his third start, when he takes to the field on Saturday.

The New Zealand-born 23-year-old, named as Northampton's skipper this season, takes the number two jersey from Steve Thompson.

"With Dylan it was an opportunity to get him back into the team," said Johnson. "Steve played very well last week but Dylan is a slightly different player.

"He has been around this team all year and it is a good chance for him to play. He is obviously a dynamic ball-carrier for us and I'm looking forward to seeing him out there."

Of the changes, only one is enforced, with Bath tight-head prop Bell set to earn his fourth cap after Wilson joined the lengthy list of propping casualties.

Wilson suffered a neck/shoulder problem against Australia and fellow Bath front-rower David Barnes left the England camp on crutches after sustaining a knee problem in training.

With Andrew Sheridan, Phil Vickery, Julian White and Jason Hobson all sidelined, and emerging prospects Alex Corbisiero and Dan Cole still working their way back to fitness, Johnson has turned to Doran-Jones for a surprise place on the bench.

Gloucester's Paul Doran-Jones
Paul Doran-Jones is likely to make his debut off the bench

The 24-year-old has just 266 minutes of Guinness Premiership rugby to his name, but has never played a full league match, let alone a Test.

Doran-Jones moved to Gloucester this season from London Welsh, having previously represented England at Under-18 level - as well as Ireland Under-19s and Under-21s.

He could now come on to face one of the strongest scrummaging units in the world game, with Argentina boasting the experience of Rodrigo Roncero, Mario Ledesma and Martin Scelzo in their front-row options.

"We know about Argentina," said Johnson. "They enjoy scrummaging, it is a big part of their game and we need to be up to the challenge.

"It's a confrontational game and the scrum and the maul is where they like to impose themselves. That's a challenge for the whole team and not just the tight five."

Argentina have won two of their last three Tests with England, including their last visit to Twickenham three years ago.

That victory, their first at the home of English rugby, was a major factor in the dismissal of then England coach Andy Robinson a few weeks later.

England: Monye; Cueto, Hipkiss, Geraghty, Banahan; Wilkinson, Hodgson; Payne, Hartley, Bell, Deacon, Borthwick (capt), Croft, Moody, Haskell.
Replacements: Thompson, Doran-Jones, Lawes, Worsley, Care, Goode, Erinle.

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see also
Flood on verge of Tigers return
11 Nov 09 |  Leicester
Doran-Jones called up by England
09 Nov 09 |  English
Dallaglio wants new-look England
08 Nov 09 |  English
We will learn from loss - Johnson
07 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
England 9-18 Australia
07 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Vickery undergoes neck operation
06 Nov 09 |  London Wasps
Vickery joins England casualties
20 Oct 09 |  English
Sheridan faces Six Nations race
19 Oct 09 |  English
Argentina 24-22 England
13 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
England 37-15 Argentina
06 Jun 09 |  English
England 18-25 Argentina
11 Nov 06 |  Rugby Union

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