- Four new faces in the back line for contest against Scotland A in Glasgow
- “We'll benefit from another week together ahead of tough game,” says Lydon
Bath Rugby centre Kyle Eastmond starts in midfield for England Saxons against Scotland A on Friday night (January 31, kick-off 7.30pm).
Eastmond, who won senior caps against Argentina last summer, is one of four backs making their first Saxons appearances in the game at Scotstoun in Glasgow.
His Bath teammate Semesa Rokoduguni, Leicester Tigers wing Adam Thompstone and Gloucester Rugby scrum half Dan Robson also make first Saxons’ appearances as they look to build on their 14-8 defeat at the hands of the Ireland Wolfhounds last weekend.
There are four changes to the forwards with Dave Ward (Harlequins), Scott Wilson (Newcastle Falcons), Elliott Stooke (Gloucester Rugby) and Sam Dickinson (Northampton Saints) – all second half replacements at Kingsholm last Saturday – making first Saxons’ starts.
Gloucester Rugby prop Yann Thomas and Sale Sharks wing Tom Brady have joined the Saxons' squad and travel to Scotland as cover.
Photo: Getty Images
Joe Lydon, the RFU Head of International Player Development, said: “This group of young players worked hard in both preparing for and playing against an experienced Wolfhounds side at Kingsholm. We didn’t deliver the win on Saturday but created some good opportunities and the team are building their knowledge of what is expected and our knowledge of them as a squad is also increasing. A further week together should help us continue to improve our collective understanding.
“We have an exciting young squad of real potential with new Saxons caps for Semesa Rokoduguni, Adam Thompstone and Dan Robson all of whom continue to play consistently well for their respective clubs.
“We are under no illusion how tough it will be for us in Glasgow against Scotland A, who’ve done well against us at this level in recent years, but our players have a lot of talent, endeavour and a willingness to work for each other to build on their club form.
“This squad has an average age of 24 and our aim is to continue working with them in an evolving long-term programme that compliments the excellent work done at their clubs in developing players capable of achieving success at club and at senior international level at the World Cups in 2015, 2019 and beyond.”
15 Rob Miller (Sale Sharks)
14 Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby)
13 Elliot Daly (London Wasps)
12 Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby)
11 Adam Thompstone (Leicester Tigers)
10 Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby)
9 Dan Robson (Gloucester Rugby)
1 Alex Waller (Northampton Saints)
2 Dave Ward (Harlequins)
3 Scott Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)
4 Elliott Stooke (Gloucester Rugby)
5 George Kruis (Saracens)
6 Calum Clark (Northampton Saints, Captain)
7 Luke Wallace (Harlequins)
8 Sam Dickinson (Northampton Saints)
16 Jamie George (Saracens)
17 Nathan Catt (Bath Rugby)
18 Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons)
19 Charlie Matthews (Harlequins)
20 Dave Ewers (Exeter Chiefs)
21 Joe Simpson (London Wasps)
22 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
23 Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby)