- Winning captain Warden laid low by appendicitis
- Mitchell of Bristol steps up to lead team in Lisbon
Photo: Getty Images
Bristol University centre Tom Mitchell will captain England Students against Portugal in Lisbon on Saturday, March 5 (kick-off 3pm local time) following the withdrawal of Will Warden with appendicitis.
Warden skippered England to a 25-23 win in their opening match of the season against France Universities at Richmond in Surrey last Friday evening.
But the Loughborough University lock had an operation to remove his appendix on Tuesday and was unable to join the team when they met at Twickenham for yesterday's departure to Portugal.
Bristol second row Luke Bellinger has joined the squad to replace Warden, and, with Mitchell stepping up to the captaincy, his role as vice captain goes to flanker Tom Sargeant.
Drewett confident of a seamless transition
The 22-man squad is otherwise unchanged and the team to face Portugal, currently ranked at number 20 in the world by the International Rugby Board, will be announced on Thursday.
The Portuguese won the inaugural meeting between the sides 21-18 in Lisbon in January 2010.
"It is bad luck for Will Warden, who led the team superbly against the French, and we wish him well," said Pete Drewett, England Students' team manager.
"But Luke Bellinger has been part of a successful Bristol University team this season and he was with England Students for the training day we had at Uppingham School last month, so it will be a seamless transition."
England Students squad to face Portgual
Fred Burdon (Cambridge), Alex Cheesman (Oxford), Callum Grant (Reading), Louis Messer (UWIC), Sam Miller (Bath), Tom Mitchell (C) (Bristol), Chris Reakes (Exeter), Paul Roberts (Bath), Ed Styles (Loughborough), Russell Weir (Loughborough)
Adam Bellamy (Bristol), Luke Bellinger (Bristol), Richard Boyle (Northumbria), Richard de Carpentier (UWIC), Samuel Lockwood (Leeds Met), Mike Macfarlane (Loughborough), Mohammed Mustafa (Liverpool), Camilo Parilli-Ocampo (Loughborough), Tom Sargeant (VC) (Exeter), Matt Smith (UWIC), Alex Waddingham (Loughborough), Jack Yeandle (UWIC)
England Students fixtures 2010/11
Friday, February 25: vs France Universities, Richmond (W 25-23)
Saturday, March 5: vs Portugal, Lisbon
Saturday, March 26: vs France Universities, Versailles