- Courtney Lawes and Freddie Burns in match day squad for New Zealand
- “We will meet challenge of number one team head on” – Lancaster
Photo: Getty Images
Courtney Lawes is among 23 players returning to Pennyhill Park tomorrow evening to prepare for the final QBE International against New Zealand at Twickenham Stadium.
The Northampton Saints lock missed the opening three games of the autumn with a knee injury but after starting for his club in their 23-16 Aviva Premiership victory over London Welsh he is deemed fit enough for a place in the match day squad.
Lawes, 23, replaces Mouritz Botha, with the other change from the defeat to South Africa seeing Gloucester Rugby fly half Freddie Burns – recently named Aviva Premiership Player of the Month – coming in for Toby Flood, who has injured a ligament in his right toe.
Photo: Getty Images
After naming his final group of 2012, England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster paid tribute to the contribution of those he has had to leave out.
He said: “Firstly to those guys who won’t be coming back in tomorrow. Their attitude over the last five weeks has been first-rate with the energy and enthusiasm they have brought to the squad both on and off the field.
“Unfortunately we can only pick 23 but they have all pushed hard for selection and I know they will go back to their clubs hungry to force their way into the Elite Player Squad in January.
“For those in Saturday’s squad the message is clear – last week we went toe to toe with the second best team in the world and felt we should have won. Now we have a chance to take on the number one side in front of a passionate Twickenham crowd, who have been fantastic throughout the QBE Internationals, and it is a challenge we will meet head on.”
England Squad to face New Zealand
Alex Corbisiero (London Irish)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
James Haskell (London Wasps)
Joe Launchbury (London Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby)
David Paice (London Irish)
Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
David Wilson (Bath Rugby)
Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Chris Ashton (Saracens)
Brad Barritt (Saracens)
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
Alex Goode (Saracens)
Jonathan Joseph (London Irish)
Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
The following 11 players have been released back to their clubs:
Mouritz Botha (Saracens)
Tom Biggs (Bath Rugby)
Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints)
Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs)
Tom Palmer (London Wasps)
Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby)
Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins)
Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers)
Nick Wood (Gloucester Rugby)