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Late call-up Dench leads new-look Counties

06 June 2010

  • Counties make 11 changes for next game on Canada tour
  • Yorkshire’s Kyle Dench captains the side against Ontario Blues

England Counties make 11 changes to the starting line-up in their previous game when they meet Ontario Blues at Oakville Crusaders RFC on Tuesday (June 8) in the second game of their three-match tour to Canada.

Team Manager Danny Hodgson also elects to change his captain, with Yorkshire's Kyle Dench taking over from prop Matt Long, who takes a day off.

"This is a massive honour for me, especially when you consider that I only came into the squad at the 11th hour," said the Harrogate centre.

"It's a new experience, but it's a challenge and I'm going to look at it that way and try to get the best out of everybody.

"I've always been in teams where I've had experienced players around me and hopefully I can draw from what I learned from players like Dave Scully.

"I've always believed in trying to play with a smile on my face. So I'll be doing my best and trying to lead from the front. I wasn't expecting to come on tour and then I wasn't expecting to get a run in the first game, but it worked out that way and it was brilliant to be out there.

"To get on the pitch and wear that white shirt is amazing and to be asked to captain the side is a special honour. I can clearly remember making my Counties debut in France and how big a thing it was, so I understood how the lads on debut will feel. Hopefully I can help them to deal with the experience and we can deliver a quality display in which everyone gets to show what they can do."

The tourists opened with a hard-fought 20-6 win over The Rock in Newfoundland and they have now relocated to Toronto, where the temperature has risen by 20 degrees and a less attritional contest is expected.

The Counties suffered their first major setback of the trip when Man of the Match against The Rock, Saracens and Hertfordshire flanker Will Fraser, suffered damage to his knee in the dying moments of an outstanding performance and will not play again on the trip. He is awaiting a hospital visit to establish the extent of the damage.

England Counties Team to face Ontario Blues
Player Club
15 Tom Jarvis unattached & Gloucestershire
14 James Tincknell Wharfedale & Yorkshire
13 Kyle Dench Harrogate & Yorkshire
12 Henry Staff Blackheath & Hertfordshire
11 Charlie Ingall Tynedale & Northumberland
10 Paul Humphries Blackheath & Kent
9 Will Cliff Sale & Cheshire
1 Gavin Woods Caldy & Cheshire
2 Jonny Roddam Flyde & Lancashire
3 Nick Flynn Sedgley Park & Lancashire
4 Lewis McGowan Coventry & Lancashire
5 Luke Collins Redruth & Cornwall
6 Mark Wilson Blaydon & Northumberland
7 Dan Baines Macclesfield & Cheshire
8 Phil Eggleshaw Nottingham & Durham
Replacements
Player Club
16 Matt Hall Blaydon & Northumberland
17 Craig Voisey Rotherham & North Midlands
18 Harry Spencer Saracens/Bedford & Devon
19 Mark Evans Moseley & North Midlands
20 Tom Kessell Plymouth & Devon
21 Steve Hamilton Blackheath & Kent
22 Fergus Mulchrone Macclesfield & Cheshire